BOX 3-1

CERP 2005 Report to Congress

The Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000) required the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to report to Congress on the progress of the CERP once every 5 years. The first CERP congressional report was produced in 2005 and summarizes the progress to date along with forecasts for projects and funding for subsequent years. The 2005 Report to Congress includes sections devoted to outlining the bureaucratic structure of the restoration effort, project implementation, project coordination, progress toward interim goals and interim targets, and a financial summary. It also summarizes the progress made on both CERP and non-CERP projects (see Appendix A of this report).

This committee reviewed the final draft of the CERP 2005 Report to Congress dated December 16, 2005 (DOI and USACE, 2005), to understand the perspective of those most closely involved with the restoration. Based on the report, it appears that the massive administrative and bureaucratic infrastructure needed to fully implement the CERP is now largely in place. The report notes that, in addition to agreements between the federal and state governments executed during the 2000-2004 period, the Programmatic Regulations for the CERP were finalized, and the MISP created. At the time of the report, final drafts of the Guidance Memoranda (USACE and SFWMD, 2005a), definitions of the pre-CERP baseline conditions (USACE and SFWMD, 2005c), and recommendations for interim goals and interim targets (RECOVER, 2005b) had been released. Taken together, these agreements and reports provide a means to assess the progress of the CERP in ecosystem restoration. The CERP 2005 Report to Congress concludes with a financial summary that outlines the total expenditures related to CERP through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2004 and that revises cost estimates made in original plans from 1999. The most recent total cost estimate for the CERP is $10.9 billion at October 2004 price levels.

dates (see Appendix B for the complete MISP). Compared to the prior CERP scheduling approach that used specific project deadlines, the banding approach better reflects uncertainty in project milestone dates and offers more adaptability in the project development process and the ability to account for project dependencies. Band 1, comprising 2005-2010 (Table 3-1 and Figure 3-1), shows that construction is not expected to be finished on any of the CERP projects until 2006 at the earliest, when the completion of two pilot projects is expected. Aside from these pilot projects, estimated construction completion dates for CERP projects remain several years away, although significant planning and design efforts are under way. Overall, most CERP components are planned for completion in the first three bands (2005-2020), with fewer components scheduled for completion in the most

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