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Everglades Highlights

Everglades Forever Act (EFA)

 

Lily Pads in the Everglades by Kao Akana  (Creative Commons - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)The Office of Ecosystem Projects is the lead office responsible for implementation of the Department of Environmental Protection’s responsibilities under the Everglades Forever Act (EFA) pursuant to Chapter 373.4592 of the Florida Statutes (F.S.). These responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating with other Department staff, state and federal agencies, industry representatives, and other groups in development and implementation of water-quality, biological, and other research and monitoring programs in the Everglades Protection Area (Water Conservation Areas 1, 2A, 2B, 3A,and 3B, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and the Everglades National Park as established in the Everglades Forever Act);
  • evaluations of the water quality, biological, and other data from these programs;
  • review and preparation of technical reports on topics related to Everglades restoration;
  • implementation of grants in support of Everglades research and monitoring activities;
  • and rulemaking activities required under the EFA.
  • Directing the activities of the Everglades Technical Advisory Committee, a multi-agency technical committee formed to assist the Department in technical activities required by the EFA.
  • Coordinating with other Department staff, state and federal agencies, industry representatives, and other groups on permitting activities required under the EFA.

Background

EFA

Stormwater Treatment Area Number 5 by Brian Garrett (Creative Commons - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/)

The EFA was passed in 1994. The long-term water quality objective for the Everglades is to implement the optimal combination of source controls, Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), Advanced Treatment Technologies (ATTs), and regulatory programs to ensure that all waters discharged to the Everglades Protection Area (EPA) achieve water quality standards consistent with the EFA. The Restoration Planning and Permitting Section of the Bureau of Assessment and Restoration Support is responsible for coordinating with other Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Department) staff, state and federal agencies, industry representatives, and other groups on permitting activities required under the EFA.

The EFA requires the State of Florida to:

  • Restore and protect the Everglades ecological system.
  • Authorize the District to proceed expeditiously with implementation of the Everglades Program.
  • Reduce excessive levels of phosphorus.
  • Pursue comprehensive and innovative solutions to issues of water quality, water quantity, hydroperiod, and invasions of exotic species, which face the Everglades ecosystem.
  • Expedite plans and programs for improving water quantity reaching the Everglades.
  • Provide a sufficient period for construction, testing, and research, so that the benefits of the Everglades Construction Project (ECP) will be determined and maximized prior to requiring additional measures.
  • Achieving the water quality goals of the Everglades Program through implementation of STAs and Best Management Practices (BMPs) aka Best Available Phosphorus Reduction Technology (BAPRT).
  • Pursue the ECP expeditiously, but with flexibility, so that superior technology may be utilized when available.

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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: December 13, 2013