Follow The Water | ORVIS
When most people think of the Everglades, they picture the sawgrass wetlands and mangroves at the southern tip of Florida. However, they don't realize that this incredible ecosystem's health depends upon events far to the north. Historically, the Everglades received a steady supply of fresh water from a massive watershed that begins near Orlando. Still, over the past century—in the name of flood control and agriculture—man has interrupted that flow, most notably at Lake Okeechobee. As a result, the amount of freshwater that reaches Florida Bay is less than half of what it should be. The main goal of Everglade's restoration is to send more freshwater south, but this is not as simple as it may sound. Simon and Hannah Perkins—cousins who are part of the third generation of the Perkins family to run Orvis—traveled the length of the Everglades watershed, talking to scientists, conservationists, and fishing guides to see first-hand the work being done and to explore what the future may hold.