Canals and Restoring the Land

Hungryland Slough Natural Area, Palm Beach County


One of the challenges facing Palm Beach County's Department of Environmental Resource Management when it began restoring Hungryland Slough to something best resembling its original state was restoring natural water levels on the property. Developers who had planned to build a suburban subdivision on the land back in the 1970s dug a series of canals to convert a very wet place into suitably dry neighborhoods. They failed, but when ERM took over the land, among their first tasks was filling literally miles of canals, removing some culverts and replacing others. This canal, however, remains and helps keep water levels in order. The canal functions as a manmade habitat, home to frogs, snakes, fish and, no doubt, an alligator or two. By the way, restoring the land took a bit of historic detective work, looking at early land surveys, maps and descriptions of plant communities in order to determine what the land was like, how wet it was, what places were once swamps, marshes, flatwoods, hammocks and wet prairies. Next Photo.


Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.