Current levels range between 100 and 300 ppb. 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. Saving the Everglades HOW CAN WE SAVE THE EVERGLADES? The Everglades also protect South Florida residents from flooding and droughts. 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 Everglades Trust, Inc.6107 South Dixie Highway, Suite 3West Palm Beach, FL 33405, Tell State Senate to Prioritize the EAA Reservoir. 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. An agreement was reached with all stakeholders signing off, including sugar and agricultural interests. 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. Flood control, Wilderness preservation. What is the Everglades? In the Everglades it caused a 90 percent decline in populations of wading birds and repeated seagrass die-offs in Florida Bay and Charlotte Harbor, which in turn led to algae blooms and fish kills. It also destroyed the St. Lucie and Fort Meyers estuaries by flooding them with unnatural pulses of fresh, and often polluted, water. Sawgrass, which grows throughout the Everglades, can withstand drought, floods and fires and thrives in soils that contain pathetically few nutrients. The Everglades drainage area stretches over 200 miles, starting near Orlando and reaching south to the Gulf of Mexico. In this blog, we'll break down what the CERP is and how it helps the Florida Everglades, the successes of the implementation, and other efforts being made to protect and reserve this environment. Include the answers to the following 4 questions in your essay: What is a wetland? The Everglades landscape is flatter than a billiard table, and water tends to pool on it. 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. 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. Peter Frederick currently receives funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for documentation of annual wading bird nesting responses to water management in the Everglades, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for work on American Oystercatcher habitat restoration. 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’s nearly impossible to restore the Everglades as it was before, the "River of Grass" undisturbed by human exploitation, pollution, agricultural development, and suburban expansion. The construction of the C-43 water reservoir is an important piece of the puzzle to restore the whole of the Everglades … Read more about the plan here. Global climate change raises other uncertainties. Alligators created ponds to live in and crayfish burrowed into sediments during dry seasons. 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. It has to change.” WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green takes a deep dive into the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, asking how successful it's been after two decades and billions of dollars. Restoration thus is effectively at a standstill. 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. What man has so profoundly damaged, man must restore. Start listening. We process the algae into oil and other bio-fuels. Historic water flow pattern through the Everglades (click for larger image). University of Florida provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US. 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. In 2000, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was announced as a joint project involving state, federal, and water management agencies. “The managers still control the water flow. Read more here. Seagrass dieoffs in southwest Florida, 2013. 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. It is strange to know that a considerable amount of what you see out in … 0. ORDER THIS ESSAY HERE NOW AND GET A DISCOUNT !! Together, we can pass the test. 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. 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. We sell the carbon-neutral biofuels cheaper than petroleum products, and we make a fortune, ultimately billions of dollars per year. 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. Conveyance and storage of massive amounts of water would be included, as well as the treatment of the polluted water before it is released, when needed, back into the Everglades. I just know the only salvation is to figure out how to restore flows through the Everglades and cleanse flows to the estuaries. However, that view rests heavily on the assumption that we will commit to fixing a central problem – water storage. Controversial from the start, CERP proposed an expensive and ecologically questionable plan to store summertime rainwater underground, then pump it into Everglades wetlands during winter. Public reports can help us detect new invaders and better understand the abundance and locations of established invasive species. Nearly 83 percent of the Everglades lies outside of the national park, mostly on agricultural or state-protected lands. It’s a window of opportunity that’s wide open and the time to act is now. “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. But water coming out of Lake Okeechobee is polluted with phosphorus from fertilizer used on farms upstream. Healthy ecosystems are vital to all life on Earth. This Everglades reservoir is the most important project that will significantly reduce the amount of freshwater that is currently being discharged east and west. 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. Still, progress is possible. Meanwhile, the Everglades ecosystem south of Lake Okeechobee is rapidly deteriorating. The park and the wider Everglades ecosystem have suffered immense ecological damage from years of overdrainage to prevent flooding and promote development. We can grow algae on part of the filtration lands. 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. Workable solutions are another story. Tom Van Lent, Ph.D., Vice President, Everglades Foundation. In the heart of the south of Florida, a giant hydrological restoration project is taking place. The Everglades is very close to sea level, and is already being affected by sea level rise. The clean water goes to the Everglades. This system is partially constructed, but water cannot be released to the Everglades until it is finished, which may not happen for years or even decades, largely because of the cost. Are you the creator of this podcast? 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. Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. The Everglades CISMA offers many identification tools on our Publications & Tools page. Meanwhile, they can keep proclaiming themselves pro-environment because they support restoring the Everglades, even as they keep approving roads and other development-related projects that will cause additional environmental damage — damage that will, just like the Everglades, need to be fixed at taxpayer expense sometime in the future. 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. NWF Photo/Hank Hearn. Saving the Everglades Collaborating with diverse stakeholders to yield conservation gains. “To me it’s just a fascinating thing and I just want to learn everything I can about it.” Although the rainy season in Florida has finally begun, this year’s drought shows how important it is to restore America’s Everglades. Algae removes the nutrients and clean the water. At least 100 miles of it is made up of the wide-open grasslands called the Everglades. 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. Learn how to identify nonnative animals and plants so you can tell them apart from native Florida species. 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. It would take 30 years and cost $7.8 billion to complete. 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. 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. The plan would require the acquisition of about 60,000 acres of land in an area mostly occupied by sugar growers and farmers. Stormwater treatment ponds, used to remove excess phosphorus before discharging water into the Everglades. A single tree can help to absorb the harmful effects of carbon dioxide in the air. Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. The battle to restore the Everglades originally started to remedy the damage inflicted on … The critical dollars to build these project are available from both the federal government and the state of Florida. As development spread across Florida, farmers, ranchers and urban dwellers sought to control floods and manage water supplies during droughts. The whole thing is basically due to a lack of sheet flow. Planned flow after Everglades restoration (click for larger view). What factors regulate the structure and function of a wetland? Write an article and join a growing community of more than 119,900 academics and researchers from 3,854 institutions. APES Case Study 121- Can We Restore the Florida Everglades? Models increasingly confirm that it is possible to effectively rehydrate all of the Everglades, including the National Park. In 2000, Congress passed the 30-year Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore, protect… Maps Historical Everglades The historical Everglades stretched from Orlando to the Florida Keys. In a 2015 report, the University of Florida’s Water Institute concluded that nearly all uncertainties and problems associated with Everglades restoration could be markedly improved by building more ponds and impoundments to store water. Open the locks and look how much water we’ve got running through. ! Protect the Everglades by keeping your electronic devices off and unplugged when touring the Everglades. But unlike a space mission, we have already mostly paid for this venture. Copyright © 2010–2021, The Conversation US, Inc. Florida is now under federal court orders not to release water to the Everglades until phosphorus levels have been reduced close to natural concentrations. 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. I’m aware of the proposals to fix things, but I won’t pretend to know the details. 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. To date, the CERP is the largest ecosystem restoration project in … Going the final miles will be cheap compared to the alternative, and future generations will thank us for it. An area mostly occupied by sugar growers and farmers tree can help preserve. A moon shot how to identify nonnative animals and plants so you can tell them apart from native species. Coming out of Lake Okeechobee is polluted with phosphorus from the U.S the! 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