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2 The Restoration Plan in Context
Pages 23-60

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From page 23...
... The chapter opens with a brief history of the South Florida ecosystem from the beginning of its environmental decline to the initiation of major restoration efforts in the early 1990s. The chapter then outlines the stated goals for the restoration, discusses the difficulties inherent in defining restoration goals, and identifies essential components of restoration.
From page 24...
... (1955) courtesy of Robert Johnson, National Park Service.
From page 25...
... . However, by the time Marjory Stoneman Douglas's classic book The Everglades: River of Grass was published in 1947 (the same year that Everglades National Park was dedicated)
From page 26...
... . Eastern portions of Everglades National Park are often too dry and prone to fire, whereas western portions of the park experience extended periods of high water, and water ponds in the Water Conservation Areas (WCAs)
From page 27...
... Alterations in the distribution of tree islands in WCA 3B and beneath Tamiami Trail have occurred due to flow redirection. Satellite image dated April 1, 1994.
From page 28...
... Prompted by concerns about deteriorating conditions in Everglades National Park and other parts of the South Florida ecosystem, the public, as well as the federal and state governments, directed increasing attention to the adverse ecological effects of the flood-control and irrigation projects beginning in the 1970s (Kiker et al., 2001; Perry, 2004)
From page 29...
... of 2000, is "restoration, preservation, and protection of the South Florida Ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection." The Programmatic Regulations (33 CFR 385.3; see Box 2-1) that guide implementation of the CERP further clarify this goal by defining restoration as "the recovery and protection of the South Florida ecosystem so that it once again achieves and sustains the essential hydrological and biological characteristics that defined the undisturbed South Florida ecosystem." These defining characteristics include a large areal extent of interconnected wetlands, extremely low concentrations of nutrients in freshwater wetlands, sheet flow, healthy and productive estuaries, resilient plant communities, and an abundance of native wetland animals (DOI and USACE, 2005)
From page 30...
... Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District [SFWMD] , personal communication, 2006; see Chapter 4 for more details)
From page 31...
... For example, the state of Florida has placed early emphasis on improving the water quality and integrity of Lake Okeechobee and the northern estuaries, whereas federal interests focus on Everglades National Park, other federal parks and wildlife refuges, and the survival of threatened and endangered species. Clearly, the maximum amount of restoration can be achieved by considering action options that encompass the entire original South Florida ecosystem (Figure 1-3)
From page 32...
... If the defining hydrologic and ecological characteristics of the historical Everglades serve as restoration goals for the remnant Everglades ecosystem, this committee judges that five components of Everglades restoration are critical: 1. enough water storage capacity combined with operations that allow for appropriate volumes of water to support healthy estuaries and the return of sheet flow through the Everglades ecosystem while meeting other de mands for water; 2.
From page 33...
... Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan WRDA 2000 authorized the CERP as the framework for modifying the C&SF Project. Considered a blueprint for the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem, the CERP is led by two organizations with considerable expertise regarding the water resources of South Florida -- the USACE, which built most of the canals and levees throughout the region, and the SFWMD, the state agency with primary responsibility for operating and maintaining this complicated water collection and distribution system.
From page 34...
... Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Under the agreement, all parties committed them selves to achieving both the water quality and quantity necessary to protect and restore the unique ecological characteristics of the Refuge and Everglades National Park.
From page 35...
... At the federal level, five acts of Congress have had the most significant effect on restoration efforts: • The 1989 Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act added approximate ly 107,000 acres of land to Everglades National Park and authorized restoration of more natural water flows to Northeast Shark River Slough through construction of the Modified Water Deliveries Project. • The Water Resources Development Act of 1992 authorized the Kissimmee River Resto ration Project and directed the USACE to take steps to restore the Kissimmee River floodplain, which had been altered when the river was channelized during the 1960s.
From page 36...
... • Removing barriers to sheet flow, including 240 miles of levees and canals, will reestablish shallow sheet flow of water through the Everglades ecosystem. • Rainfall-driven water management will be created through opera tional changes in the water delivery schedules to the WCAs and Everglades National Park to mimic more natural patterns of water delivery and flow through the system.
From page 37...
... The Restoration Plan in Context 37 FIGURE 2-4 Major project components of the CERP. SOURCE: Courtesy of Laura Mahoney, USACE.
From page 38...
... These projects include Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park (Mod Waters) , C-111, and the Critical Projects (see Box 2-2)
From page 39...
... The Restoration Plan in Context 39 BOX 2-2 Non-CERP Restoration Activities in South Florida The following represent the major non-CERP initiatives currently under way in support of the South Florida ecosystem restoration (Figure 2-5)
From page 40...
... A Combined Structural and Operational Plan (CSOP) has been developed that will integrate the goals of the Mod Waters and C-111 projects and protect the quality of water entering Everglades National Park.
From page 41...
... required the state of Florida to construct 45,000 acres of STAs to reduce the loading of phosphorus into the Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the WCAs, and Everglades National Park.
From page 42...
... One major initiative, the Experimental Water Deliveries Program (Experimental Program) to Ever glades National Park, was initiated after heavy rains and large unscheduled water releases to Everglades National Park led park managers to declare an environmental emergency (Hendrix, 1983)
From page 43...
... West Northeast Shark Shark River River Slough Slough Taylor Slough FIGURE 2-7 West Shark River Slough and Northeast Shark River Slough. SOURCE: Johnson (2005)
From page 44...
... 2500000 WSS 90% Pre - WCAs NESS 10% (1940 (1940-1963) 2000000 WSS 34% NESS 66% 1500000 1000000 500000 0 1940 1942 1944 1946 1948 1950 1952 1954 1956 1958 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 Year West Shark Slough Northeast Shark Slough East of L30 FIGURE 2-8 Water discharges into Everglades National Park by way of West Shark River Slough (WSS)
From page 45...
... Following heavy rains large regulatory releases were limited to West Shark River Slough because of the continuing flood-control constraints on releases to Northeast Shark River Slough, resulting in prolonged periods of high water in western Everglades National Park (Van Lent et al., 1999)
From page 46...
... For some components, such as in the marl prairies adjacent to West Shark River Slough and Taylor Slough on which Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows depend, change accelerated between 1990 and 2005. Extended periods of high water converted the vegetative community from a diverse assemblage of grasses, sedges, and rushes dominated by muhly grass (Muhlenbergia filipes)
From page 47...
... . CERP targets for abundance of breeding wading birds, which are still well below historical numbers, are surpassed by these assemblages, but because the birds are not where they historically occurred, they do not satisfy the spatial distribution goals for wading bird colonies (Crozier and Cook, 2004; Sklar et al., 2005a)
From page 48...
... . Changes in Water Quality The understanding of water quality problems in South Florida's natural areas has changed dramatically since the 1992 Consent Decree, the 1994 Everglades Forever Act, and the Yellow Book in 1999.
From page 49...
... may not have been possible, action toward that goal will certainly require additional controls and attention to water quality issues in CERP water storage projects (NRC, 2005) , as well as integration with the BMP regulatory program (SFWMD and FDEP, 2005)
From page 50...
... ; thus, high rates of sulfate discharge from the EAA constitute a multi dimensional water quality problem for the Everglades ecosystem. Scientific understanding of the interactions among mercury, sulfur, and phosphorus is still in the formative stages, with much of the under standing emerging from research in the Everglades.
From page 51...
... For example, the Brazilian pepper tree remains within Everglades National Park where more than 109,000 acres are dominated by this single species (Ferriter et al., 2005)
From page 52...
... . In the Everglades National Park, land colonized by the fern expanded from 1,000 acres to 10,000 acres between 2000 and 2003 (Ferriter et al., 2005)
From page 53...
... the Burmese python (shown at Shark Valley within Everglades National Park)
From page 54...
... The image shows the Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (WCA 1)
From page 55...
... Population Growth U.S. Census Bureau data show that in the past decade the population of the entire state of Florida has grown more rapidly (an increase of 23.5 percent)
From page 56...
... Water Use Population growth has direct implications for the CERP because of the increasing demands for domestic and commercial water. The SFWMD with draws about 4,048 million gallons per day (or 4.5 million acre-feet per year)
From page 57...
... . Miami-Dade County has conducted comprehensive planning since the mid1970s under its Comprehensive Development Master Plan,4 and other counties associated with the South Florida ecosystem now have planning processes that may have implications for restoration.
From page 58...
... Population growth, with its attendant demands on land and water resources for development, water supply, flood protection, and recre ation, only heightens the challenges facing the restoration efforts. Ever glades National Park especially continues to suffer from these challenges.
From page 59...
... The changes of the past 10-15 years have made the restoration effort more rather than less difficult in many ways. The amount, timing, spatial distribution, and quality of water entering Everglades National Park does not more closely resemble historical characteristics than it did 10-15 years ago, because attempts at restoration through the Experimental Water Deliveries program were stymied by water supply and flood-control constraints, and subsequent restoration projects (Mod Waters and C-111)
From page 60...
... The remaining Everglades landscape will continue to move away from conditions that support the defining ecosystem processes until greater progress is made in implementing CERP and non-CERP projects. Restoring the key functional processes requires (1)


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