exotic plants; and 1 million acres are contaminated with mercury (McPherson and Halley, 1996).

In response to these alarming ecological trends, the federal Water Resources Development Act of 1992 (WRDA) authorized a massive and comprehensive review of the Central and Southern Florida Project to examine the potential for restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. The result of the review, known as the Restudy, was the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on the Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem (CROGEE) was established in response to requests from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Congress to provide advice on scientific aspects of the design and implementation of the restoration plan. The charge to the CROGEE that resulted in this effort is describe in the executive summary. The WRDA of 2000 required an “assessment of ecological indicators and other measures of progress in restoring the natural system,” and this report also provides some basis for such an assessment.

FIGURE 1-2. Historic and current Everglades major features. WCA = Water Conservation Area [1, 2, and 3], LEC SVC. = Lower East Coast Service [Areas 1, 2, and 3]. Source: Adapted from Robert Johnson, Everglades National Park, presentation given to NRC Panel to Review the Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative, 2002.

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