These photographs from the Florida Photographic Collection document the nature, culture, development and conservation of the Florida Everglades, a massive wetland ecosystem that has been the focus of much human activity and as well as debate throughout the 20th Century.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1985)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1985)

Image Number: PR07037

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998) was Florida's premier environmental activist.

The daughter of Frank Stoneman, Miami Herald's first editor, and graduate of Wellesley College, Douglas devoted her life to the preservation of the Florida Everglades.

Her seminal work, The Everglades: River of Grass (1947) has often been credited as a pioneer literary work in the emerging environmental movement.

She is seen here at the naming of the Department of Natural Resources administration building in her honor.

Photographed on April 4, 1985.

Alligator in the Everglades (1958)

Alligator in the Everglades (1958)

Image Number: C026567

More than any other animal or plant, the alligator has been the symbol of both Florida and the Everglades.

Much of their environment has been lost because of urbanization and water drainage in the Everglades area.

Hammock in the Everglades (1916)

Hammock in the Everglades (1916)

Image Number: SM0299

A hammock refers to a shady, wooded area. This image was taken by naturalist John Kunkel Small (1869-1938) at Royal Palm Hammock in April 1916.

Small was one of the first naturalists in the 20th Century to document the natural life of the Everglades, first visiting the ecosystem in 1901.

Clouds over the Everglades (1950)

Clouds over the Everglades (1950)

Image Number: C012878

Following Douglas' lead, many refer to the Everglades as a "river of grass." But even Douglas agreed that the area is actually an extensive subtropical marshland, a watershed extending southward from Lake Okeechobee to the Southern tip of the Florida peninsula.

Postcard of wild deer in the Everglades (1950)

Postcard of wild deer in the Everglades (1950)

Image Number: PC0050G

Along with deer, many other mammals make their home in the Everglades, including the raccoon, the bobcat, and the endangered Florida panther.

Wood ibises along the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades (n.d.)

Wood ibises along the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades (n.d.)

Image Number: PC5217

The Everglades are also the home of thousands of birds, both native and migrating species.

Swamp lily at Everglades National Park (1980)

Swamp lily at Everglades National Park (1980)

Image Number: PR14538

Custard apple in Everglades National Park (1980)

Custard apple in Everglades National Park (1980)

Image Number: PR14635

American Egret at Everglades National Park (1974)

American Egret at Everglades National Park (1974)

Image Number: PC0089