Building more water storage facilities would also drastically improve our ability to remove phosphorus from the water. 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. The Everglades also protect South Florida residents from flooding and droughts. At least 100 miles of it is made up of the wide-open grasslands called the Everglades. Ecology – Restoring the Everglades paper instructions: Write a 500-word essay titled "Restore the Everglades Ecosystem – Why and How?" 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. Read more here. What man has so profoundly damaged, man must restore. 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 This is expected to restore the ecological health of the entire Everglades ecosystem; from periphyton to fish to wading birds. Current Everglades water flow (click for larger image). Going the final miles will be cheap compared to the alternative, and future generations will thank us for it. What factors regulate the structure and function of a wetland? We process the algae into oil and other bio-fuels. As I complete my 30th year as an ecologist studying and trying to restore this great place, it is increasingly clear that restoration can work and will benefit both wild spaces and people. The Everglades landscape is flatter than a billiard table, and water tends to pool on it. The restoration plan seeks to restore some of the Everglades’ natural water flow. Seagrass beds and mangrove forests along the coasts are already collapsing, partly due to reduced freshwater flow. Still, progress is possible. This infrastructure, which spans 16 counties, is operated today by the South Florida Water Management District. Research Professor, University of Florida. Historic water flow pattern through the Everglades (click for larger image). 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. Planned flow after Everglades restoration (click for larger view). Meanwhile, the Everglades ecosystem south of Lake Okeechobee is rapidly deteriorating. Alligators created ponds to live in and crayfish burrowed into sediments during dry seasons. ORDER THIS ESSAY HERE NOW AND GET A DISCOUNT !! The influx of fresh water will keep salt water at bay. View all episodes. Are you the creator of this podcast? Every tree helps! This month, Floridians mark 20 years since Congress approved a federal-state framework to guide our efforts to restore the Everglades, a framework known as the Comprehensive Everglades … Write an article and join a growing community of more than 119,900 academics and researchers from 3,854 institutions. Nearly 83 percent of the Everglades lies outside of the national park, mostly on agricultural or state-protected lands. 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. As development spread across Florida, farmers, ranchers and urban dwellers sought to control floods and manage water supplies during droughts. Sawgrass, which grows throughout the Everglades, can withstand drought, floods and fires and thrives in soils that contain pathetically few nutrients. 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. 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. Plants in South Florida evolved in soils that were naturally low in phosphorus, so the Everglades is hypersensitive to it. Verify your account. 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. But water coming out of Lake Okeechobee is polluted with phosphorus from fertilizer used on farms upstream. Everglades National Park (ENP) is our only national wetland park, and one of the largest aquascapes in the world. In the heart of the south of Florida, a giant hydrological restoration project is taking place. Although the Everglades is important for our wildlife, it impacts the residents of Florida, too! Saving the Everglades HOW CAN WE SAVE THE EVERGLADES? Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. In the past five years he has also received funding from the U.S. Facing these conditions, scientists and managers are privately and off-record debating the formerly unthinkable option of letting water that contains some intermediate level of phosphorus flow into the Everglades. Water storage is key to the future of cities, agriculture and Everglades restoration - the same structures buffer everyone. 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. 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. It’s easy! 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. I’m aware of the proposals to fix things, but I won’t pretend to know the details. 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. Fish and bird populations are not recovering, alligators are getting skinnier, invasive pythons are ranging unchecked and algal blooms repeatedly devastate Florida Bay. 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. The Everglades Trust, Inc.is a Florida corporationand a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization.Contributions are not tax deductible. Change Your lightbulbs. Under natural conditions water flowing into the Everglades would contain 8-10 parts per billion (ppb) of phosphorus. Many animals depend on this National Park and it’s up to us to protect it. 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. APES Case Study 121- Can We Restore the Florida Everglades? 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. 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. Protect the Everglades by keeping your electronic devices off and unplugged when touring the Everglades. As a result, it takes a lot of land to store water. I just know the only salvation is to figure out how to restore flows through the Everglades and cleanse flows to the estuaries. In ecologists’ worst-case scenario, the Everglades could reach a condition called an alternative stable state, in which the ecosystem has been altered so drastically that it cannot be restored to its original condition. Restoring a more natural water flow means more clean water delivered to the right places at the right times of year. 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. A critical piece of restoring the Everglades is to construct a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Read more about the plan here. Current levels range between 100 and 300 ppb. 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. What man has so profoundly damaged, man must restore. 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. Algae removes the nutrients and clean the water. The battle to restore the Everglades originally started to remedy the damage inflicted on … Although the rainy season in Florida has finally begun, this year’s drought shows how important it is to restore America’s Everglades. Before the 20th century, the Everglades managed these flows naturally. 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. A one-time or recurring donation is one of the easiest ways to help us preserve, protect & restore the Everglades. 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. 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. The plan would require the acquisition of about 60,000 acres of land in an area mostly occupied by sugar growers and farmers. Workable solutions are another story. Today we have an unparalleled opportunity to conserve and restore a fully functional, reconnected wetland corridor in the Everglades. 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. 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. Healthy ecosystems are vital to all life on Earth. 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. The plan is making progress – but the closer it gets to its goal, the more the details matter, and some of those details have become roadblocks. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. The critical dollars to build these project are available from both the federal government and the state of Florida. Saving the Everglades Collaborating with diverse stakeholders to yield conservation gains. A single tree can help to absorb the harmful effects of carbon dioxide in the air. Flood control, Wilderness preservation. the STAs have permits required under the Clean Water … 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. 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. 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. and pick the featured episodes for your show. 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. You Can Help! 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. Tom Van Lent, Ph.D., Vice President, Everglades Foundation. 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. What is the Everglades? University of Florida provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US. It would take 30 years and cost $7.8 billion to complete. 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. 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. ! NWF Photo/Hank Hearn. 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. Open the locks and look how much water we’ve got running through. Learn how to identify nonnative animals and plants so you can tell them apart from native Florida species. To date, the CERP is the largest ecosystem restoration project in … The park and the wider Everglades ecosystem have suffered immense ecological damage from years of overdrainage to prevent flooding and promote development. The Everglades is very close to sea level, and is already being affected by sea level rise. 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. Stormwater treatment ponds, used to remove excess phosphorus before discharging water into the Everglades. “To me it’s just a fascinating thing and I just want to learn everything I can about it.” It’s a window of opportunity that’s wide open and the time to act is now. “The managers still control the water flow. Tom Van Lent, Ph.D., Vice President, Everglades Foundation. Can a wetland be restored? An agreement was reached with all stakeholders signing off, including sugar and agricultural interests. The mission is to secure the waterflows to a healthy level after decades of draining the land. So, in honor of participating in National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Week, here are a few ways that you can help protect the Everglades and the animals that call it home. 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