Rising seas, polluted coastlines and the specter of more frequent droughts and storms have lent new urgency to efforts to restore the ecosystem of the Florida Everglades, the largest freshwater wetland in the United States. The Everglades' sawgrasses, swamps, tree islands and mangroves are home to a host of fascinating species, from American alligators to endangered hook-billed birds known as snail kites to invasive Burmese pythons. Until now, the world's largest ecosystem restoration project -- a massive plan expected to spend some $10.5 billion, known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan -- has made little progress since it was launched in 2000.
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