The Everglades evolved from a complex mingling of natural forces and cultural pressures. Born about 5,000 years ago, this wilderness remained intact until about a century ago. When non-native settlers swarmed the state in the early 20th century, industrialization was synonymous with progress. Only recently did anyone acknowledge and attempt to rectify the fact that draining the wetlands and altering the water flow meant impending environmental disaster. Now, the goal of the world's biggest ecosystem restoration is to balance the needs of water supply, flood control and agriculture with those of the environment.