Conservationists in the United States are worried by the possibility that oil exploration will pollute the environment of Florida's Every glades National Park -- a lush hot-house of tropical plants and unique wild life.
MV PAN..Swamp, ZOOM in to alligator
SV PAN..alligator on riverbank
SCU TO CU Young alligator
TRAVELLING SHOT.. cross swap area
SCU Coots swim across pond
CU Fish in clear water
LV Large birds in flight
MV ZOOM OUT..birds and alligator, PAN to foliage
MV Still pond
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Background: Conservationists in the United States are worried by the possibility that oil exploration will pollute the environment of Florida's Every glades National Park -- a lush hot-house of tropical plants and unique wild life.
The Everglades is the drainage basin for Indian reservation land, which two major oil companies plan to explore.
The Mobil Oil Company has obtained a ten-year lease on 42 thousand acres (16,996 hectares) from the Seminole Indians for oil exploration, and the Humble Oil Company has leased 32 thousand acres (12,950 hectares) from the Mikasouki Indians for the same purpose.
The State of Florida itself recently accepted three-quarters of a million dollars for exploration rights on property bordering the Everglades.
State officials have said that laws regulating oil production would safe-guard against spillage that might permanently damage the environment of the National Park.
Against this, conservationists hold that in some respects, drilling for oil and not finding it is just as harmful as actually exploiting an oil strike.
Deep wells strike salt water before anything else, and some scientists believe that salt water seepage into the fresh water of the Everglades could be more damaging than the oil itself.
Last winter conservationists succeeded in blocking the development of a jet airport near the Everglades, on the grounds that it would have disturbed its environment.
The outcome of the present threat from oil exploration is still to be known.