Ron Bergeron warns of ecological catastrophe in Florida Everglades

FWC: Busy rainy season leaves wetlands underwater

EVERGLADES, Fla. – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron said Friday that he is concerned about catastrophic conditions in the Florida Everglades.

After a rainy summer with Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Philippe, the flooding has fauna searching for adequate shelter, he said. 

"We are at a water level that has taken the refuge from all the fur-grade animals," said Bergeron, a Broward County businessman and former alligator wrestler. 

The average rainfall for the four months after June was 7 to 8 inches. This left several wetlands completely under water. According to the FWC the last time the water was this high and many animals died in the Florida Everglades was in 1994. 

Bergeron said after a busy rainy season, Irma and Philippe took "everything to a critical point."

State authorities were urging the federal government to continue with emergency water releases. Bergeron is among the supporters of an overhaul of the Everglades water management.

"It's very critical that we continue to work with our federal partners and our state partners and deviate under a state of emergency in the Everglades," Bergeron said. 

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