Why restore the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee?

The Everglades and Lake Okeechobee are ecosystems that require care and attention. History shows that the drainage and phosphorus loading in South Florida has taken a toll on the delicate ecosystem. In order to maintain the quality of life for South Floridians, protect natural wildlife and plants, provide flood control and water supply for a growing population, the State has developed the largest environmental restoration project of its kind in the history of the world. The 30-year, $13.5 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is being funded, managed and implemented through an unprecedented 50-50 partnership between the state and federal governments to restore the famed River of Grass.

The media attention given to Everglades and Lake Okeechobee restoration is a testament to the monumental nature of this bold endeavor. It is also a testament to the remarkable union of highly diverse and bipartisan interests that have joined forces to make restoration possible. The agencies are not unlike the Everglades itself, which is the only place on Earth where alligators and crocodiles live side by side. Never before have so many different interests been so committed to a common environmental goal.

The plans to restore the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee - Florida’s Liquid Heart - are complex, long-term, and dynamic. The plans are the result of years of scientific research and yet, because of its very nature, they are a work-in-progress. The plans address all aspects of restoration and ensure the right amount of water of the right quality gets to the right place at the right time.

Improved water quality and water flow are two important features that are the backbone of restoration. It is the hope of Florida that residents and visitors alike should have the opportunity to visit this majestic and captivating ecosystem and see its expansive sawgrass marshes, teeming wildlife, flowing waters and towering blue skies. Through partnerships and plans, the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee will be healthier places than they are today, and one which will remain strong and healthy in the future.

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Last updated: January 24, 2011