Airboats and alligators in the Everglades go together like hot dogs and cheese whiz, but maybe not for much longer. Park officials' plans call for an end to private airboating in the eastern Everglades in the next decade or so, once the current generation of airboat "grandfathers" dies out.
What about all the mildly frightening parkside attractions, with the flat-bottomed vessels perched in the front yard as advertisement and the legions of gators penned up out back? Everglades officials want to buy these people out and, if they're not too crazy, possibly hire them as concessionaires, confining their engine-propelled gator-spotting to 10,000 acres just south of the Tamiami Trail. The 200 members of the Florida Airboat Association are campaigning hard to keep the East Glades open for airboating, calling themselves the protectors of the river of grass, despite the obvious ill environmental effects of motoring through the marsh. Park officials, those tree hugging, gator-cuddling hippies, want it machine-free.
· Iconic Airboats Won't Be Part of Everglades Culture For Much Longer [Miami Herald]
· Previous Everglades coverage [Curbed Miami]