Restoration Timeline

2009-

August

A historic agreement was signed by the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved landmark agreements that will allow federally funded work to more forward on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. more Exit DEP Disclaimer

May

 On May 13, 2009, the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District approved a revised proposal to acquire approximately 73,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

April

On April 1, 2009, after gathering key input from the public, legislators and South Florida's communities and recognizing the nation's current economic climate, Governor Charlie Crist shared details of a revised strategy to achieve the historic River of Grass acquisition. This revised approach incorporates today's fiscal realities by saving $800 million at closing, providing ready access to strategically located acreage for restoration projects and preserving thousands of jobs.

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2008 -

December

On December 16, 2008, following extensive negotiations, due diligence and public deliberation, the SFWMD's Governing Board voted to accept the negotiated proposal to acquire at least 180,000 of land for $1.34 billion, contingent upon financing. The proposed transaction is the largest land acquisition in Florida's history and the single most important action to protect the Everglades since the designation of Everglades National Park sixty years ago. more Exit DEP Disclaimer

November

Governor Charlie Crist announced that Florida water management officials have agreed to new terms in their negotiations with the United States Sugar Corporation. The new terms, subject to approval by the SFWMD, include a land only purchase of more than 180,000 acres at a purchase price of $1.34 billion. more Exit DEP Disclaimer

June

On June 24, 2008, Governor Charlie Crist announced that the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) would begin negotiating an agreement to acquire as much as 187,000 acres of agricultural land owned by the United States Sugar Corporation for Everglades restoration. The vast tracts of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area would be used to reestablish a part of the historic connection between Lake Okeechobee and America's Everglades through a managed system of storage and treatment and, at the same time, safeguard the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries. more

February

The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Construction Project Phase II Technical Plan, a requirement of the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan (NEEPP), was submitted to Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Legislature.  more

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2007 -

November

Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, the first WRDA legislation since 2000. The passage authorizes new projects under CERP, as well as includes necessary language to fund previously authorized projects at today’s costs.  In addition, WRDA authorizes other vital projects for Florida including the Indian River Lagoon Project, Picayune Strand restoration, Site 1 Impoundment Project, dredging projects as well as water reuse and supply projects. MORE

October

To date, 52,000 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee have been converted into six stormwater treatment areas (STA), yielding 45,000 acres of effective treatment marsh. During the last decade, these man-made wetlands, along with improved farming practices, prevented more than 2,800 tons of phosphorus from entering the Everglades.

June

Governor Charlie Crist marked another milestone in Florida’s environmental history, signing a “green” law that expands the restoration of the famed River of Grass to Lake Okeechobee and the farthest northern reaches of the Everglades ecosystem. The bill provides the plan, schedule and a dedicated infusion of funding for improving and protecting the health of the northern Everglades, including Florida’s largest freshwater lake and its surrounding coastal estuaries. more

May

The Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 392, the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program (NEEPP), which expanded the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act to include protection and restoration of the Lake Okeechobee watershed and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and estuaries. more

The U.S. Senate passed the 2007 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which is necessary for the continued restoration of the Everglades. Enacting WRDA 2007 will bring a number of critical Florida projects that have been awaiting federal authorization and funding one step closer to implementation. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of WRDA 2007 in April.

April

On April 3, two teams of kayakers and hikers concluded a first-of-its-kind wilderness trip entitled: Expedition Headwaters, An Everglades Journey to Remember. Embarking from the Rosen Shingle Creek on March 23, the adventurers traversed 140 miles from Shingle Creek to Lake Okeechobee over a 12-day period. more

March

The DEP and SFWMD released the 2007 South Florida Environmental Report detailing a year of scientific, engineering and restoration work to improve the environmental quality of America’s Everglades and the entire South Florida ecosystem. more

In March, DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole and President and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts Harris Rosen joined a host of state and local leaders to launch a first-of-its-kind wilderness trip entitled: Expedition Headwaters, An Everglades Journey to Remember. Embarking from the Rosen Shingle Creek, two teams of kayakers and hikers traversed 140 miles from Shingle Creek to Lake Okeechobee over a 12-day period. more

February

As environmental leaders celebrated Florida Forever Day in Tallahassee, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that the state has acquired more than 99 percent of the land needed to complete the state's suite of expedited projects designed to speed up eight vital Everglades restoration projects. more

Governor Charlie Crist joined Senate President Ken Pruitt, DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole and SFWMD Executive Director Carol Ann Wehle to tour portions of the St. Lucie River and Estuary. Together with the Florida Legislature, Governor Crist is making the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem an environmental priority. The Crist/Kottkamp recommended budget included $190 million to improve the health of the Florida Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. more

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2006 -

December

Part of Florida’s ongoing commitment to restore America’s Everglades, the DEP and SFWMD completed more than 5,000 acres of additional treatment wetlands to clean water flowing into the famed River of Grass three weeks ahead of schedule. more

November

The DEP and the SFWMD celebrated two years of construction progress on the Picayune Strand Restoration Project in western Collier County. more

August

Florida broke ground on one of the most expansive reservoirs in the world as part of the massive effort to restore America’s Everglades. The EAA Reservoir will cover 25 square miles and provide 190,000 acre-feet of water storage. more

July

South Florida water managers celebrated the completion of two 28-acre test cell reservoirs as part of Florida’s expedited projects initiative. The C-43 (Caloosahatchee River) West Storage Reservoir test cells will provide engineers with valuable data that will guide design and construction of the $338 million C-43 West Storage Reservoir. more

Florida received federal approval to begin construction of a massive reservoir in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) -  the flagship project of the state’s suite of expedited projects to fast-track eight key restoration projects. more

June

Florida broke ground on the Water Preserve Area/Acme Basin B Discharge project that will improve the quality of water flowing into the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. more

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District and the SFWMD broke ground on Lake Okeechobee Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) pilot, a Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project. more

April

The SFWMD Governing Board approved the purchase of the last parcels of land needed to complete the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.  more

Completion of the Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area, a critical Everglades Restoration Project, was celebrated. The Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area is one of nine critical projects authorized by Congress in 1996 to provide immediate benefits to the south Florida ecosystem. more

Completion of the Taylor Creek Stormwater Treatment Area and construction of the Lake Okeechobee Water Retention and Phosphorus Removal Project at Taylor Creek/Nubbin Slough critical restoration project were celebrated. The purpose of these STAs is to reduce phosphorus loadings into the Taylor Creek basin and Lake Okeechobee. more

March

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) released the 2006 South Florida Environmental Report providing a summary of Everglades and South Florida restoration efforts. more

Florida began construction on the $330 million C-44 St Lucie Canal Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area test cells. more

February

Florida began expanding three treatment wetlands by a total of 18,000 acres, which will expand treatment capacity to more than 500,000 acre-feet of water a year. more

Florida began building the test cells of the plan to construct the C-43 Caloosahatchee West Storage Reservoir, which will hold 170,000 acre-feet of water (equivalent to 85,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!) more 

January

The state of Florida, in conjunction with Martin County, purchased more than 12,000 acres of land in Martin County. The land will be used as part of the Florida's suite of expedited projects, designed to fast track Everglades restoration.  more

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2005 -

October

Former Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet approved the conveyance of approximately 345 acres to the SFWMD. The land will be used by the SFWMD as part of the Everglades Agricultural Area stormwater treatment area project, under the state's program designed to fast track Everglades restoration. more

Former Governor Jeb Bush unveiled the Lake Okeechobee and Estuary Recovery (LOER) Plan, a comprehensive plan to accelerate restoration and recovery of the largest freshwater lake in the southeast.  more

June

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began construction on the second phase of restoration along the Kissimmee River – the headwaters of America's Everglades. This phase will backfill 10,000 feet of canal, re-create the historic river channel and reestablish flows to replenish 11,000 acres of wetlands.  more

February

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published the first comprehensive report detailing a year of scientific, engineering and restoration work to improve the environmental quality of America’s Everglades and the entire South Florida ecosystem. more

January

Florida began turning dirt on the first water project under its expedited projects initiative - building test water storage areas which will be used to design the massive Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir. more

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2004 -

October

Florida unveiled an ambitious plan to expedite select CERP projects to accelerate the restoration of America's Everglades. Florida is stepping up the pace to complete eight critical environmental projects identified in the $10.9 billion plan more than a decade ahead of schedule. more

September

The final phase to restore 50,000 acres of wetlands in the Southern Golden Gates area in America's Everglades received the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP's) approval .  more

June

Florida officially adopted a phosphorus criterion of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for the entire freshwater area of the Everglades. The rule establishes the process for improving water quality and restoring the natural system in the famed River of Grass. more

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) broke ground on close to 1,000 acres of treatment marshes to clean water flowing into Lake Okeechobee.  more

May

Water managers completed the first phase of the Kissimmee River Restoration project that will  restore 27,000 acres of wetlands and reestablish a more natural flow of water to 43 miles of river when completed. more

April

Florida signed off on a joint plan by the state and federal government to protect the Indian River Lagoon. When complete, the project will restore more than 53,000 acres of wetlands, reduce pollution and provide water storage to return a more natural flow of freshwater to the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.  more

February

Florida began moving water through the world’s largest constructed wetland, STA 3/4. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) began operating the 17,000-acre treatment marsh that uses "green" technology to filter nutrients from water flowing into the famed River of Grass. more

The Everglades Radio Network (ERN) was launched to inform travelers about what they are seeing as they cross the Everglades on “Alligator Alley". more

January

Water managers began moving water to restore a natural flow to the Northwest Fork Loxahatchee River with the G-160 structure. As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the structure provides essential freshwater to the eight mile Loxahatchee River and flood protection to residents in Palm Beach County. more

Florida presented the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP) to the Governor and Legislature on January 1st. The plan contained a schedule for implementing the subsequent phases of load reduction needed to achieve the Lake Okeechobee Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

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2003 -

November

Mercury concentrations found in fish and wading birds in America's Everglades have dropped by 60 to 70 percent since 1991. more

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground on the Ten Mile Creek Stormwater Treatment Area. The project is increasing protection for the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon by improving water quality and providing needed water storage in the region.  more

October

Florida donated the last parcel of state-owned property needed to complete the massive expansion of Everglades National Park launched by former President George H. W. Bush in 1989. A total of 42,000 acres of state land was donated to the federal government to accomplish plans to increase the size of the park by 109,000 acres.  more

Florida began restoring a more natural flow of water to more than 50,000 acres of wetlands in America's Everglades, known as Picayune Strand, seven years ahead of schedule.  more

June

The South Florida Water Management District accelerated  clean up by using a Periphyton-Based Stormwater Treatment Area (PASTA). The “green” technology is used in one of the six man-made treatment marshes that filter pollution from water entering the Everglades. more

May

The Florida Legislature boosted Florida’s commitment to Everglades restoration by appropriating a record $225 million for implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). more

April

The Florida House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming bipartisan majority to support amendments to the Everglades Forever Act, which provide clear environmental benefits for America's Everglades.  more

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2002 -

December

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board approved the purchase of a ready-made reservoir that places restoration efforts ahead of schedule.  more

January

Former President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed an agreement that will reserve water for environmental restoration under state law as a condition to receiving federal money to pay for half of the $10.9 billion project. more

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2000 -

December

Former President Clinton authorized the Water Resources Development Act of 2000, committing a multi-billion dollar budget to the CERP. more

June

The Florida Legislature passed the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act, a phased, comprehensive program designed to restore and protect the lake. more

May

The Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Restoration Investment Act to fund the state’s 50 percent of its cost-share with the federal Government for implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). more

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1997 -

The South Florida Water Management District completed construction of the first of six filtering wetlands known as Stormwater Treatment Areas.

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1996 -

Farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area implemented Best Management Practices.

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1994 -

The Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act, which directed the state to develop a phosphorus criterion for the Everglades Protection Area, implement a best management practices program and construct stormwater treatment areas.

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1992 -

The Settlement Agreement was approved and directed Florida to construct 32,000 acres of stormwater treatment areas  with a phosphorus discharge concentration of 50 parts per billion and outlined specific monitoring stations and formulas for evaluating phosphorus levels in the Loxahatchee Refuge and Everglades National Park.

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1991 -

The Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Protection Act to restore the Everglades and a settlement agreement was reached.

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1988 -

A Settlement Agreement was reached between the federal state governments regarding water quality standards in Everglades National Park (ENP) and Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). Former Florida Governor Chiles committed Florida to cleaning up the Everglades. 

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