how can we restore the everglades

The National Park Service dedicated over $67 million from the NPF Resource Recovery and Protection program and its Everglades Freshwater Wetlands Mitigation Trust Fund to help restore, research, monitor, and manage 6,600 acres of abandoned farmland inside Everglades National Park. Together, we can pass the test. Perhaps more than any other U.S. national park, ENP’s treasures are hard to defend. Restoration thus is effectively at a standstill. APES Case Study 121- Can We Restore the Florida Everglades? We can grow algae on part of the filtration lands. Yet in the last one hundred years, ecosystems everywhere have fallen victim to degradation, with severe consequences for the environment and consequently wildlife and humans. Seagrass beds and mangrove forests along the coasts are already collapsing, partly due to reduced freshwater flow. Change Your lightbulbs. Many animals depend on this National Park and it’s up to us to protect it. Research Professor, University of Florida. Audubon's work to restore the Everglades is focused on implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and other restoration projects to achieve ecological benefits and restore the characteristic abundance of wildlife. The state and federal governments are finally providing money to restore the Everglades, but voters and activists must continue to apply political pressure It’s a good time to be a heavy equipment operator or surveyor in South Florida, but only if the people keep speaking out. The construction of the C-43 water reservoir is an important piece of the puzzle to restore the whole of the Everglades … Still, progress is possible. This infrastructure, which spans 16 counties, is operated today by the South Florida Water Management District. Everglades restoration is funded annually by the United States Congress via direct appropriation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior. It’s a window of opportunity that’s wide open and the time to act is now. We process the algae into oil and other bio-fuels. An inability to restore the Everglades will spell disaster for hundreds of species, as well as people. In 1948 Congress authorized the Central & Southern Florida Project, which would become the largest water works project in the world, with more than 2,000 miles of canals and dikes, 71 pump stations, over 600 water control structures and 625 culverts. Tom Van Lent, Ph.D., Vice President, Everglades Foundation. But water coming out of Lake Okeechobee is polluted with phosphorus from fertilizer used on farms upstream. Algae removes the nutrients and clean the water. Verify your account. However, that view rests heavily on the assumption that we will commit to fixing a central problem – water storage. But storing water is difficult and expensive in such a flat, porous landscape. Building more water storage facilities would also drastically improve our ability to remove phosphorus from the water. Making dikes out of Florida’s porous rock is like trying to contain water with walls of Swiss cheese: they have to be very thick, and water cannot be stacked deeply for fear of rupturing those walls. In 2000, in an effort to protect and restore the area, Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The Everglades Trust, Inc.is a Florida corporationand a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization.Contributions are not tax deductible. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Alligators created ponds to live in and crayfish burrowed into sediments during dry seasons. As a result, it takes a lot of land to store water. In addition to repairing some of the damage to this unique ecosystem, the restoration is designed to ensure reliable clean drinking water supplies for South Florida cities and protect developed areas from flooding. I’m aware of the proposals to fix things, but I won’t pretend to know the details. Although the Everglades is important for our wildlife, it impacts the residents of Florida, too! Before the 20th century, the Everglades managed these flows naturally. This $1 billion effort to treat large volumes of water down to the very low phosphorus level (10 parts per billion) that is needed to protect all of the Everglades is an unprecedented restoration effort. Going the final miles will be cheap compared to the alternative, and future generations will thank us for it. What is the Everglades? Today we have an unparalleled opportunity to conserve and restore a fully functional, reconnected wetland corridor in the Everglades. The influx of fresh water will keep salt water at bay. The Everglades drainage area stretches over 200 miles, starting near Orlando and reaching south to the Gulf of Mexico. We have already made huge investments in water distribution and management to buffer ourselves from floods and drought, and to restore the ecology of the Everglades. Routing more freshwater to the Everglades will keep salt water at bay, providing drinking water for humans and animals and helping to restore wetlands for wading birds. It has to change.” Florida’s then-Senate President-elect Joe Negron announced on August 9, 2016, that he’d seek state lawmakers’ approval for a $2.4 billion plan to store water south of Lake Okeechobee. “The Everglades is such a finely tuned machine, I guess you would say, that inches of water make profound differences in the landscape and the vegetation and the wildlife,” says Green. The Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir is a part of CERP that is designed to relieve the pressure on the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries by taking up water from Lake Okeechobee that is currently damaging the east and west coasts. Historic water flow pattern through the Everglades (click for larger image). This Everglades reservoir is the most important project that will significantly reduce the amount of freshwater that is currently being discharged east and west. Under natural conditions water flowing into the Everglades would contain 8-10 parts per billion (ppb) of phosphorus. Planned flow after Everglades restoration (click for larger view). If we do not make these investments, all of South Florida’s past drought and flooding challenges will intensify as our weather becomes less predictable. At the heart of Everglades restoration is reconnecting Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades so ample water can flow south again, get cleansed and released into the Everglades and down to its terminus, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The battle to restore the Everglades originally started to remedy the damage inflicted on … Meanwhile, the Everglades ecosystem south of Lake Okeechobee is rapidly deteriorating. Read more here. Engineers rerouted a huge portion of the water that flowed south into the Everglades from Lake Okeechobee, diverting it to Florida’s east and west coasts. In the heart of the south of Florida, a giant hydrological restoration project is taking place. and pick the featured episodes for your show. Adding so much phosphorus to the system can cause massive shifts from sawgrass plains to dense, oxygen-poor cattail monocultures, which outcompete sawgrass under higher nutrient conditions. Healthy ecosystems are vital to all life on Earth. Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. A strategy called the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was enacted to restore portions of the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River, and Florida Bay to undo the damage of the past 50 years. Every tree helps! Removing a 300-year supply of phosphorus from Lake Okeechobee waters will require many acres of land to store and treat water by filtering it through beds of aquatic plants and algal mats. The park and the wider Everglades ecosystem have suffered immense ecological damage from years of overdrainage to prevent flooding and promote development. The whole thing is basically due to a lack of sheet flow. Plants in South Florida evolved in soils that were naturally low in phosphorus, so the Everglades is hypersensitive to it. Among these are improving and protecting water quality, quantity, providing water storage needs and restoring the historic water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida Sea Grant, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the South Florida Water Management District, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Seagrass dieoffs in southwest Florida, 2013. Restoring a more natural water flow means more clean water delivered to the right places at the right times of year. Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. We have already made huge investments in water distribution and management to buffer ourselves from floods and drought, and to restore the ecology of the Everglades. It also destroyed the St. Lucie and Fort Meyers estuaries by flooding them with unnatural pulses of fresh, and often polluted, water. Can a wetland be restored? The construction of the C-43 water reservoir is an important piece of the puzzle to restore the whole of the Everglades to its former glory. Saving the Everglades Collaborating with diverse stakeholders to yield conservation gains. Global climate change raises other uncertainties. Tom Van Lent, Ph.D., Vice President, Everglades Foundation. In the past five years he has also received funding from the U.S. Open the locks and look how much water we’ve got running through. Linda Friar, National Park Service/Flickr, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, as much as 82 percent from average levels year to year, South Florida Water Management District/Flickr. An agreement was reached with all stakeholders signing off, including sugar and agricultural interests. The Everglades CISMA offers many identification tools on our Publications & Tools page. Everglades Trust supports the 200-plus Everglades scientists who believe that increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries; to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys; to improve the health of Lake Okeechobee; and to protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridians living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. In 2000, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was announced as a joint project involving state, federal, and water management agencies. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 119,900 academics and researchers from 3,854 institutions. They were a network of vast marshes that expanded and contracted from wet to dry seasons, populated by plants and animals that evolved strategies for dealing with unpredictable depths. ! In 2000, Congress passed the 30-year Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore, protect and preserve 18,000 square miles of land and water over 16 Florida counties. At least 100 miles of it is made up of the wide-open grasslands called the Everglades. Though we fought and were successful in getting Senate Bill 10 passed by the Senate, House and signed into law by the governor, the project was greatly reduced due to the lobbying efforts of Big Sugar. It is strange to know that a considerable amount of what you see out in … Everglades1 - The Everglades What is the Everglades What have humans done that alter the structure and function of the Everglades How can we restore the Even mildly relaxing phosphorus standards could make hydrological restoration much more achievable. Include the answers to the following 4 questions in your essay: What is a wetland? the STAs have permits required under the Clean Water … Models increasingly confirm that it is possible to effectively rehydrate all of the Everglades, including the National Park. Although the rainy season in Florida has finally begun, this year’s drought shows how important it is to restore America’s Everglades. One million acre-feet (an acre one foot deep) of storage, distributed across several locations both south and north of Lake Okeechobee, could substantially reduce water surpluses and shortages for farmers, tribes, city residents and the Everglades. Stormwater treatment ponds, used to remove excess phosphorus before discharging water into the Everglades. The Everglades also protect South Florida residents from flooding and droughts. And as called for in CERP, the Everglades needs an above ground reservoir directly south of Lake Okeechobee located in the 500,000 acres of sugar cane fields that make up the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). “To me it’s just a fascinating thing and I just want to learn everything I can about it.” A single tree can help to absorb the harmful effects of carbon dioxide in the air. They should get rid of the levee and just let it flow.” Opinions about how to fix the Everglades are easy to find. Lying at the southern end of an immense watershed the size of New Jersey, ENP is caught between the largest man-made water project in the world upstream and a rapidly rising ocean downstream. 0. Then they could [close them and] drop these boats to the bottom in two days. “The managers still control the water flow. How can we save the Everglades? Florida has huge swings in annual rainfall, which can vary by as much as 82 percent from average levels year to year, and water evaporates very rapidly during dry seasons. And a recent study estimates that hydrological restoration could be stymied if climate change reduces Florida’s annual rainfall by as little as 10 percent. Using Amendment 1 and other funds, we must identify and secure 60,000 acres of land south of the lake without delay, before development in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrevocable destruction. Flood control, Wilderness preservation. And the nonprofit Everglades Foundation, which advocates for restoration, is offering a $10 million prize to researchers who can develop a cost-effective technology for removing phosphorus from natural water bodies. The critical dollars to build these project are available from both the federal government and the state of Florida. The Everglades Foundation worked with nearly two-dozen other private and public organizations to identify the essential goals in working towards fulfilling CERP’s promise. We have already made huge investments in water distribution and management to buffer ourselves from floods and drought, and to restore the ecology of the Everglades. In 2000 Congress approved the largest ecological restoration project in the world – the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which is expected to take more than 35 years to complete and cost at least US$10.5 billion. We need to clean the water, take out the fertilizer and build marshes that are designed to clean the water as it flows south.”, –Dr. This venture and get a DISCOUNT! are not tax deductible require the acquisition of about 60,000 acres of in... Facilities would also drastically improve our ability to remove phosphorus from fertilizer used farms... 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