Projects and Goals
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is being implemented through a 50-50 state-federal partnership. The plan provides a framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and south Florida, including the Everglades. The plan encompasses 16 counties over an 18,000-square-mile area. The goal of CERP is to capture fresh water that now flows unused to the ocean and redirect it to areas that need it most.
The Everglades Construction Project, developed by the state of Florida, is one component of the Everglades Forever Act. The projects include, but are not limited to, the construction of Stormwater Treatment Areas, Hydropattern Restoration, Water Diversions and other improvements.
Everglades Forever Act (EFA)
The Everglades Forever Act was originally signed into Florida law in 1994 (Section 373.4592, Florida Statutes ), and was amended in 2003. The amended law promotes Everglades restoration and protection. The improvement of water quality, water quantity, natural hydroperiod and removal of exotic species to the Everglades ecosystem are being achieved though comprehensive and innovative solutions using the best available “green” technology.
(formerly Acceler8) In 2004, Florida launched an ambitious plan to speed up the design, funding and construction on eight key restoration projects. By accelerating these projects, the Everglades are experiencing positive benefits a decade ahead of schedule. Currently, 99 percent of the land needed for these projects is in public ownership, and planning and/or construction is in progress on all expedited project components.
Between 1962-71, to accommodate a population increase and the desire for productive agricultural land, the meandering Kissimmee River and flanking floodplain were channelized into a 30 foot deep central drainage canal and compartmentalized with levees and dam-like water control structures into a series of five relatively stagnant pools. The impacts of channelizing the river were great and prompted over 20 years of state and federally mandated restoration related studies, which culminated in the development of a restoration plan. The KRR Project was authorized by Congress in the 1992 Water Resources Development Act. The state of Florida purchased the land and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is executing the construction. When complete, the project will restore over 40 square miles of river/floodplain ecosystem including 43 miles of meandering river channel and 27,000 acres of wetlands. Currently, all the land needed for restoration has been acquired and the USACE has backfilled 9.5 miles of channelized river.
Announced in October 2005, LOER is an action plan developed to help restore the ecological health of Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. The state agencies charged with carrying out this plan include the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
Passed by the 2000 Florida Legislature, the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act (Sec. 373.4595, Florida Statutes) established the Lake Okeechobee Protection Program, a restoration and protection program for Lake Okeechobee. This program is being accomplished by achieving and maintaining compliance with state water quality standards in the lake and its tributary waters through a phased, watershed-based comprehensive and innovative protection program. This program was designed to reduce phosphorus loads and implement long-term solutions, based upon the Lake's phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and considering the establishment of TMDLs for the tributaries of Lake Okeechobee. The overall objective of LOPA is to meet the Lake Okeechobee total phosphorus TMDL of 140 metric tons by 2015.
The Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan was developed by cooperating state agencies to outline strategies to reduce phosphorus loading to the lake and to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load. The Lake Okeechobee Protection Act and the Plan identify the need to implement Best Management Practices and construct large regional facilities to capture phosphorus. This Plan contains an implementation schedule for subsequent phases of phosphorus load reduction consistent with the total maximum daily loads.
Long-term Plan (LTP)
To help meet the requirement of the Everglades Forever Act (EFA), more
measures were necessary to ensure that all discharges to the
The Modified Water Deliveries Project project is a federal ecological restoration project in south Florida designed to improve water delivery to Everglades National Park. The completion of Mod Waters is required before the implementation of portions of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Mod Waters is being implemented by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Northwest Fork of Loxahatchee River Restoration
The Loxahatchee River is the southernmost tributary of the Indian River Lagoon and includes the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River, the first nationally designated Wild and Scenic River in Florida. This historic watershed, over 750 square miles, has been reduced by flood control basins and drainage districts to approximately 277 square miles in southern Martin and northern Palm Beach Counties. Together, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, South Florida Water Management District, Jonathan Dickinson State Park and the Loxahatchee River District , with their partners, developed a Preferred Restoration Flow Scenario that includes both dry and wet season hydrologic flow patterns and provides the greatest ecological benefit to the freshwater river area and tidal flood basin with minimal impacts to the downstream estuary plants and animals. The plan will result in the recovery of freshwater habitat for the 7.5-mile federally designated Wild and Scenic River.
Last updated: April 06, 2015