Our firsthand experience in Southwest Florida allowed us to create a new permanent exhibit on south Florida's people and their environments, past and present. The 6,050-square-foot exhibit in the Museum's Hall of South Florida People and Environments opened to the public on October 5, 2002.

The main message of the exhibit is one of appreciation for South Florida's diverse heritage and rich environment, as well as awareness of the problems that face us in the future. Given Florida's dramatic growth in population and the increasing threats to its cultural resources and natural habitats - especially those of the coast and interior wetlands - the need for acquainting Florida's residents and visitors with Florida's heritage and environment has never been more timely. A large measure of the knowledge presented in this new permanent exhibit was generated by the Museum's long-term interdisciplinary project in Southwest Florida.