Significant progress has been made in restoring America’s Everglades over the past five years and a comprehensive report highlighting these efforts has recently been submitted to Congress.
The 2015 Report to Congress for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was jointly submitted to Congress last week by the secretaries of the Army and the Interior. The report details the collaborative effort of participating agencies and their combined commitment to restore America’s Everglades.
“Progress is being made towards achieving the benefits for the natural system and the human environment envisioned in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP),” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
New construction starts, project completions, accelerated planning efforts, new investments in water quality and the passage of key congressional legislation are a few of the highlights of the 2010-2015 reporting period.
This is the third CERP report prepared for Congress and is required by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The report covers implementation progress between mid- 2010 and mid-2015 as well as activities planned for the next five years.
During this reporting period, major construction milestones were achieved. Construction on restoration projects and additional components began, including the Indian River Lagoon-South C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area project and the Picayune Strand Restoration Project’s Faka Union Pump Station.
CERP projects were also completed during this timeframe, including the State-expedited C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project and the Melaleuca Eradication and Other Exotic Plants Research Annex, the first CERP project to be completed and transferred.
The CERP is the largest environmental program in history. Upon congressional authorization in 2000, the federal government and the state of Florida entered into a 50/50 partnership to restore, protect and preserve water resources in central and southern Florida.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is the lead state agency in this effort.