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Everglades Highlights

Everglades Map - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaOffice of Ecosystem Projects

The Office of Ecosystem Projects plays a key role in carrying out the largest environmental restoration project in the world - restoring America’s Everglades. Our office ensures effective implementation of DEP’s policy, programmatic, technical, and regulatory responsibilities under the Everglades Forever Act, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program, and related efforts including Kissimmee River Restoration, Critical Projects Program, Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation, and Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park. Restoration initiatives are focused on improving water quality and restoring the hydrology and ecology of the Everglades ecosystem which extends further than many realize - stretching from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, to Lake Okeechobee, through the remaining Everglades and on to the waters of the Florida Bay - an area covering 18,000 square miles.

 

Overview of Restoration Programs:
In order to restore and protect the greater everglades ecosystem, the Florida legislature established the state of Florida’s responsibilities in a series of statutes under the Florida Water Resources Act (Chapter 373, Florida Statutes). In addition to authorizing the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to serve as local sponsor for the majority of restoration efforts, the statutes direct the roles and responsibilities of both DEP and the SFWMD for plans authorized through the Everglades Forever Act (EFA, 373.4592, F.S.), the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP, 373.026, 373.1501 and 373.1502, F.S.), the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program (NEEPP, 373.4595, F.S.), and the Everglades Restoration Investment Act (373.470, F.S.). Some of the programs are being implemented and funded wholly by the state of Florida, whereas others involve partnerships with local, state and the federal government.

 

EvergladesState Projects and Programs

State-Federal Partnership

 

Overview of Program Responsibilities
The office ensures the state of Florida’s interests are represented through policy and program development, which includes legislation, funding, project scheduling, and integration of priorities across the plans referenced above to ensure a holistic approach to south Florida ecosystem restoration. Staff also participates in the formulation and planning of projects to ensure they are consistent with the requirements of governing rules and statutes and that the projects meet their restoration goals. Plan elements are complex, and require a balanced approach to the protection of water and ecological resources, with the often competing objectives of water supply and flood control. Projects include the construction and operations of large scale civil works including reservoirs, impoundments, and stormwater treatment areas, and other changes to the regional system of canals and control structures which improve the quality, timing and distribution of water.

Our functions include:

 


Office of Ecosystem Projects
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 24   Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000  
850-245-3166 (phone) / 850-245-3145 (fax)

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Last updated: August 05, 2014