Everglades National Park
As we drive further south-west through the Everglades we reach the area where the fresh water from the sloughs and praires meet the salt water of Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. In this area the slough and praire are replaced by dense swamps, riverways, and small lakes. Red Mangrove Trees grow in the shallow water along the edge of the lakes, rivers, and bays. The red mangrove trunks are supported above the water level by many roots, called prop roots. These dense prop roots help protect the shore from the wave action of storms. The protected water under the prop roots of the red mangrove trees also serves as an important breeding ground for fish and other animals. In the photo you can see the prop roots extending down into the water from the branches.