The Postal Service issued the 39-cent Southern Florida Wetland stamps in ten designs on October 4, 2006, at the Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens in Naples, Florida. Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, and illustrated by John D. Dawson of Hilo, Hawaii, the stamps went on sale nationwide on October 5, 2006.
The Southern Florida Wetland stamps are the eighth in the Nature of America series designed to promote appreciation of major plant and animal communities in the United States. The previous issuances in the series were Northeast Deciduous Forest (2005), Pacific Coral Reef (2004), Arctic Tundra (2003), Longleaf Pine Forest (2002), Great Plains Prairie (2001), Pacific Coast Rain Forest (2000), and Sonora Desert (1999).
The subtropical wetlands of southern Florida are remnants of a great wilderness that stretched, unbroken, for hundreds of miles until about a century ago. They still include some of the most extensive saw grass marshes and mangrove swamps in the world — wetlands that support a remarkable number of species.
In southern Florida, plants and animals are well adapted to water-level changes that correspond to alternating wet and dry seasons. Although some species require freshwater habitats, others are more salt tolerant. This stamp pane depicts a wetland community where freshwater mingles with salt water along the coast, and thus the art includes both freshwater and coastal species.
Avery Dennison produced 50 million stamps in the gravure process.
Postal Bulletin (August 17, 2006).