to achieve their restoration goals. If there is insufficient political leadership to align research, planning, funding, and management with restoration goals agreed upon by the stakeholders, the CERP will be likely to result in an abbreviated series of disconnected projects that ultimately fail to meet the restoration goals. Other lessons for the CERP that can be learned from the struggles faced during the planning and implementation of the Mod Waters project include the benefits of early agreement on project scope and objectives, the need for a clear project management structure, and the need to anticipate adapting project plans over time.
The reduced scope of Mod Waters attainable with the 2008 recommended plan for modifying Tamiami Trail (alternative 3.2.2.a) provides some environmental benefits but shifts increased responsibility (and cost) to the CERP to achieve authorized Mod Waters goals. The 2008 recommended plan represents a substantially smaller step toward restoration than was originally envisioned for Mod Waters. The recommended alternative is also less cost-effective than other alternatives when benefits are considered as habitat units per dollar spent (see Table 4-3). Although it is critical to move ahead and implement it quickly, the recommended alternative should be viewed only as a first step toward restoration. Moreover, it should be recognized that moving forward with the 2008 recommended plan increases the urgency to proceed more quickly to implement the additional necessary Tamiami Trail modifications through the CERP, or some other mechanism, so that the restoration benefits for Everglades National Park outlined in the WRDA 2007 conference report can be achieved as soon as possible.