In 2000, Congress approved Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), an $8-billion plan to save a national treasure. Today, key elements of the plan have yet to be implemented.
In response, the Everglades Coalition, an alliance of 45 local, state and national environmental organizations including the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, compiled nine restoration “essentials”, benchmarks that must be achieved for CERP to become a reality. Some of the essentials are in addition to those listed in the original CERP. These essentials much be achieved if the remaining “River of Grass” can be saved from rampant development, invasive species, and poor water management.
the nine essentials
- Restore historic sheet flow in the southern Everglades and to Florida Bay
- Restore historic sheet flow in the Everglades
- Provide adequate water storage for the ecological needs of Everglades National park and the Water Conservation Areas (WCAs)
- Provide for large wet year flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades
- Provide additional water storage to protect the estuaries and Lake Okeechobee
- Restore the Kissimmee River
- Improve and protect water quality
- Prevent development that undermines the greater Everglades eco-system protection and restoration
- Restore the federal-state partnership