Water Resources Development Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106–541, § 601, 114 Stat. 2572 (2000)

U.S. Geological Survey Organic Act, 43 U.S.C. 31 (a) et seq.

Economy Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1535

II. Purpose and Joint Objectives

The purpose of this MOU is to integrate and facilitate coordination among the Parties for all ongoing and future monitoring, research, planning, and interagency coordination activities supporting Everglades restoration. With the enactment of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), it is important that appropriated funds target not only the highest priority research, planning, and interagency coordinating needs of the restoration effort, but are coordinated both within the Department of the Interior, and with related on-going efforts of state and other Federal partners. This integration will facilitate the leveraging of resources, maximize the value of Federal funds, and ensure that the best available research products and monitoring and assessment tools, responsive to the needs of NPS and FWS, are obtained.

Both NPS and FWS are responsible for the stewardship of one-half the remaining Everglades ecosystem and have responsibilities to provide technical expertise to the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) as it implements, with the State of Florida, one of the largest watershed restoration programs in the world. As the Department's premier research organization, the USGS is uniquely situated to provide quality research products responsive to the needs of the NPS and FWS, and other Federal and state partners, as Everglades restoration efforts proceed.

The MOU will ensure: (1) ongoing and future research and related products are determined collaboratively by the Parties to support Everglades restoration activities and the needs of the NPS and FWS; (2) the continuation of ongoing monitoring and assessment activities of the NPS and FWS to assess the effects of Everglades restoration projects on Interior managed lands and resources for which Interior plays a key stewardship role, including Endangered Species; and (3) the continuation of critical planning and interagency coordination activities being implemented by the Office of the Executive Director, South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (SFERTF). These efforts include: ecosystem restoration planning activities, required reports for the Congress, high priority coordination efforts of the Task Force and the Department's on-going partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers including ecosystem science peer review.

This MOU will apply to programs proposed for funding in FY 2003 and beyond, wherever funds may be appropriated which support an integrated monitoring, research, planning, and interagency coordination program for ecosystem restoration initiatives in South Florida.



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