Finish & implement existing plans for restoring the everglades

 

 

Much of the water that ultimately flows into the Everglades originates in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes region in Central Florida. Water flows south into the Kissimmee River, enters Lake Okeechobee and is then moved through the Everglades Agriculture Area into storm water treatment areas, ultimately entering the Everglades Protection Area. Initiated by several lawsuits, a series of major Everglades restoration initiatives were begun. Some have been completed and others are still in the planning stages. The long-term economic and environmental sustainability of Southeast Florida can only be achieved if these major Everglades restoration projects are completed and implemented.

• Everglades Construction Project {ECP)
This series of projects have been built and in operation consisting of over 4O,OOO acres within six large constructed wetlands that use “passive” biological treatment facilities called stormwater treatment areas (STAs) that cost over $700 million to build.

• Kissimmee River Restoration
When restoration construction is completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2O1S, 4O square miles of Kissimmee River and floodplain ecosystem will be affected, including almost 2S,OOO acres of wetlands and 4O miles of historic river channel.

• Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan {CERP)
CERP was authorized by the Federal government in 1996 consisting of 68 components with an estimated construction cost of $7.8 billion and is considered the “world’s largest ecosystem restoration project”.

• Central Everglades Planning Project {CEPP)
CEPP is a joint planning effort between the Corps of Engineers and the SFWMD to identify and use land already in public ownership to allow more water to be directed south to the central Everglades, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay while protecting coastal estuaries through increased storage, treatment and conveyance south of Lake Okeechobee; removing and/or plugging canals and levees; and, retaining water within the Everglades National Park.

• Everglades Restoration Strategy
The Everglades Restoration Strategy was approved by the 2O12 Florida Legislature and is a series of projects designed to meet the 10-parts-per-billion phosphorous ambient water quality criterion established in rule for the Everglades Protection Area.

• Indian River Lagoon South Project
Flood control canals have historically channeled huge discharges of nutrient laden waters from regional watersheds and Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon creating devastating impacts to marine life. The project holds back the water and cleans it up, reuses it in-
stead of dumping it into the estuary.

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