This year marks the 60th anniversary of the efforts to conserve the 13,000 acre Corkscrew Swamp. There is a great little article about it in the Naples News Daily, and I’d like to share some of the information from it here.
The mission of the conservation efforts of Corkscrew Swamp is to preserve and restore the natural ecosystem here that provides the habitat for the birds an animals that live in the swamp, and of course to maintain a natural area that many humans (about 100,000 per year) like to visit. Some of the animals that make their home in Corkscrew swamp include panthers, alligators, turtles, otters, and many species of plants and birds.
It was not always a certainty that such a natural preserve would even exist in this area. When conservation efforts for Corkscrew Swamp began, there was significant logging in Southern Florida, and it took a community effort to save the swamp from imminent doom. Therefore, an anniversary like this has significant meaning, because it was no guarantee that the conservation efforts would be successful in the first place.
Though this anniversary is a celebration, it is important to remember that there is a lot of work still to be done in order to preserve and restore Corkscrew Swamp. For example, consider the wood stork, which is the bird most closely identified with Corkscrew Swamp. In 1961, there were 6,000 wood stork nests. Last year, there were only 200. The way to improve the numbers of these birds is to continue maintaining and restoring their natural habitat, an effort that is constantly underway at Corkscrew Swamp.