Seminoles and the Land

Traditional Seminole cultural, religious, and recreational activities, as well as commercial endeavors, are dependent on a healthy Everglades ecosystem. In fact, the Tribe's identity is so closely linked to the land that Tribal members believe that if the land dies, so will the Tribe. The Seminoles saw the Everglades in decline and recognized that they had to mitigate the impacts of man on this natural system. Seminole environmental projects are designed to protect the land and water systems within the Reservation while ensuring a sustainable economic and cultural future for the Tribe. 


Everglades Restoration Initiative

The Seminole Everglades Restoration Initiative is an ambitious, multi-year project that will have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of water flowing off of the Big Cypress Reservation and into the Florida Everglades. It is designed to mitigate the impacts of development on the environment; more specifically, to improve water quality, to increase water storage capacity, and to enhance hydroperiods. This $65 million program has received consistent support from the state and federal task forces working to improve the South Florida environment. The entire project has been included in the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida's report on the projects needed for Everglades restoration. 


Restoration Benefits

  • Addresses the harmful impacts of development on the South Florida ecosystem
  • Improves water quality to meet water quality standards
  • Enhances the hydroperiod in the Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Improves the water quality in the Everglades Protection Area
  • Removes phosphorus and other pollutants from water leaving the Reservation and flowing to the Big Cypress National Preserve into Mullet Slough to the Everglades Protection Area
  • Rewaters the Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Conveys and store irrigation water
  • Provides improved flood control