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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 PROGRESS TOWARD RESTORING THE EVERGLADES The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress Water Science and Technology Board Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report was produced under assistance of Cooperative Agreement No. W912EP-04-2-0001 with the Department of the Army. Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the South Florida Water Management District. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12574-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12574-X Cover: “… And All Hell Broke Loose”. Artwork courtesy of Luis Núñez. Copyright 2003 by Luis Núñez. All rights reserved. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROGRESS1 WILLIAM L. GRAF, Chair, University of South Carolina, Columbia STEVEN R. BEISSINGER, University of California, Berkeley LINDA K. BLUM, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DONALD F. BOESCH, University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge FRANK W. DAVIS, University of California, Santa Barbara CHARLES T. DRISCOLL, Syracuse University, New York JOAN G. EHRENFELD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey CHRIS T. HENDRICKSON, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WILLIAM P. HORN, Birch, Horton, Bittner, and Cherot, Washington, DC WAYNE C. HUBER, Oregon State University, Corvallis DAVID H. MOREAU, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JEAN-YVES PARLANGE, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York K. RAMESH REDDY, University of Florida, Gainesville NRC Staff STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Study Director, Water Science and Technology Board DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Scholar, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology DOROTHY K. WEIR, Research Associate, Water Science and Technology Board 1 The activities of this committee were overseen and supported by the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (see Appendix I for listing). Biographical information on committee members and staff is contained in Appendix J. Note: William G. Boggess, Oregon State University, served on the committee until October 2007, when he resigned for personal reasons.
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Acknowledgments Many individuals assisted the committee and the National Research Council staff in their task to create this report. We would like to express our appreciation to the following people who have provided presentations to the committee and served as guides during the field trips: Kenneth Ammon, South Florida Water Management District Stuart Appelbaum, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nicholas Aumen, National Park Service Laura Brandt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Edwin Brown, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eric Bush, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wanda Caffie-Simpson, South Florida Water Management District Doug Chaltry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Major Dominic Ciaramitaro, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Carlos Coronado-Molina, South Florida Water Management District Orlando Diaz, University of Florida Peter Doering, South Florida Water Management District Dennis Duke, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (formerly) Vic Engel, National Park Service Sharon Ewe, Florida International University Donald Fox, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Jack Gentile, Harwell Gentile & Associates Lawrence Gerry, South Florida Water Management District Andrew Gottlieb, South Florida Water Management District Chris Graham, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Paul Gray, Audubon Susan Gray, South Florida Water Management District David Hallac, National Park Service Gary Hardesty, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Matthew Harwell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service James Heaney, University of Florida Lorraine Heisler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Eliza Hines, Everglades Partners Joint Venture Todd Hopkins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Jim Jackson, South Florida Water Management District Thomas James, South Florida Water Management District Robert Johnson, National Park Service Ray Judah, Lee County Commission Wiley Kitchens, University of Florida Greg Knecht, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Kevin Kotun, National Park Service Beth Lewis, South Florida Water Management District Julie Lockwood, Rutgers University Joette Lorion, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians Linda McCarthy, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Carol Mitchell, National Park Service Matthew Morrison, South Florida Water Management District Jana Newman, South Florida Water Management District Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District John Ogden, Audubon, former South Florida Water Management District Jose Otero, South Florida Water Management District Pam Repp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Terry Rice, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians Terrence “Rock” Salt, U.S. Department of the Interior Leonard Shabman, Resources for the Future Bruce Sharfstein, South Florida Water Management District Patti Sime, South Florida Water Management District Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District Paul Souza, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hilary Swain, Archbold Biological Station Susan Sylvester, South Florida Water Management District Kimberley Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thomas Teets, South Florida Water Management District David Tipple, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Paul Trimble, South Florida Water Management District Shelley Trulock, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tom Van Lent, Everglades Foundation Elmar von Kurzbach, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Greta von Unruh, Economic Development Research Institute of Palm Beach County Paul Warner, South Florida Water Management District Rebecca Weiss, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tori White, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eric Wood, Princeton University Dewey Worth, South Florida Water Management District
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Preface In 1881 Hamilton Disston, a Philadelphia investor, began a grand project in the Everglades wilderness of Florida to drain the wetlands and convert them to an agricultural cornucopia. The Everglades once encompassed about 3 million acres, with its “River of Grass” extending southward from the area north of Lake Okeechobee to a sweeping confluence with Florida Bay at the southern end of the Florida peninsula. Disston’s project in the northern reaches of the Everglades eventually failed, but “reclamation” efforts continued. When Napoleon Bonaparte Broward became governor of Florida in 1904, he initiated a massive investment and development plan that began the wholesale modification of the Everglades for agriculture with water supply and flood control for the growing cities along the coastal margins. During this early period, environmental protectionists like Frank M. Chapman of the American Museum of Natural History worked tirelessly to protect endangered birds and their habitats. By the end of the 20th century, more than half the Everglades had disappeared, and the remainder was an ecosystem in rapid decline. In 1999, the federal and state governments combined their efforts in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to save the remaining Everglades along with their iconic wildlife, while at the same time providing water and flood protection for the region’s rapidly increasing human population. The CERP is a complex, multibillion-dollar project managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) that was projected to require 40 years for completion. With 68 separate subprojects requiring sophisticated scientific knowledge of the ecosystem and creation of new technologies for water management, CERP represents a research, planning, implementation, and construction challenge unlike any other. In authorizing the CERP, the U.S. Congress mandated periodic independent reviews of progress restoring the natural system in the Everglades. In compliance with this requirement, the USAC, in coordination with the SFWMD and the Department of the Interior, arranged with the National Research Council
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 (NRC) of the National Academies the establishment of the Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP), which submits formal reports to Congress on a biennial basis. The NRC has previously reviewed (for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force) such specific aspects of the Everglades restoration as the management of science for decision making, general science and engineering perspectives on water storage, and the management of science for particular parts of the ecosystem such as Florida Bay. The CISRERP reviews for Congress, however, are more all encompassing, and they provide a broad picture of both science and engineering and the contributions of these endeavors to restoration. These more general reviews cannot touch upon every aspect of the overall project, so exploration of some representative examples supplements the general statements in the reports. The committee provided its first biennial report in 2006, examining the initiation of the CERP with its emphasis on planning, identifying embryonic progress in projects related to the CERP, specifying that there were no scientific impediments that should stand in the way of restoration progress, and offering a philosophic approach to managing science and restoration. This second biennial report continues the NRC review of Everglades restoration progress. During this exacting process, I have been privileged to work with committee members who are among the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields. The committee members served without compensation (except for expenses), and they have generously contributed their time and talents as their donations in service to the state and the nation. The committee includes experts in biological, hydrologic, and geographic sciences, hydrologic and systems engineering, project administration, law, and policy. The committee met seven times over the course of 18 months, with five meetings in Florida that permitted the committee to hear testimony from researchers, planners, and decision makers associated with the USACE and SFWMD, as well as from representatives of interest groups and private citizens. The report generated by this diverse committee is a consensus document. In late June 2008, after the committee had completed its deliberations and was about to send its report for external review, the state of Florida announced its intention to enter into negotiations to acquire almost 300 square miles of the Everglades Agricultural Area from U.S. Sugar Corporation. Given the timing of the announcement late in the committee’s reporting cycle, the committee was unable to assess the implications of the land purchase for the CERP in any detail in this report. The purchase of these lands could have some important implications for water quality and possibly water storage for the Everglades, and the committee does draw attention to these in appropriate places in the report, but
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 these issues will undoubtedly be analyzed in greater detail in future biennial reviews. The committee could not have accomplished its task without the help of the numerous NRC staff members associated with this review, including Stephen Parker (Director of the Water Science and Technology Board). His broad vision and effective management style have been keys to our success. Three staff members in particular were our partners in this effort: Stephanie Johnson, David Policansky, and Dorothy Weir. Stephanie Johnson is a true Everglades expert whose outstanding knowledge and understanding of the science, engineering, and administrative aspects of the CERP suffuse this report. Her encyclopedic capabilities to find information, absorb its essence, analyze its implications, and write about its consequences have been a key to the committee’s success. David Policansky has long been a partner of committees engaged in Everglades oversight and review, applying his extensive biological knowledge and sound scientific sense. His service with this review committee and his contributions to the reporting process exemplify his fine ability to tease out the nuances in what is one of the most complicated ecosystems and restorations that any of us has ever seen. Dorothy Weir made it possible for the committee to do its job, adroitly managing every meeting: from the preliminary planning, through the management of minute procedural details, to the concluding summary processes. Her assistance in creating the final report has been, simply, indispensable. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jean M. Bahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Patrick L. Brezonik, University of Minnesota; Elvin R. “Vald” Heiberg III, independent consultant; Judith L. Meyer, University of Georgia; Leonard Shabman, Resources for the Future; Alan D. Steinman, Annis Water Resources Institute; Myron F. Uman, former Associate Executive Officer, National Research Council; Thomas Van Lent, The Everglades Foundation; and Jeffrey R. Walters, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Frank H. Stillinger, Princeton University,
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 and Kenneth W. Potter, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Hamilton Disston, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, and Frank M. Chapman would not recognize today’s Florida. Nevertheless, many of those developers’ dreams have been realized in hydrologic control systems of canals, ditches, levees, control structures, and pumps, and they would have approved of the productive agriculture and bustling cities of the region. The preservationists have succeeded in establishing sprawling refuges and a national park. Disston, Broward, and Chapman likely would be amazed that the state and the nation have committed themselves to restoring and maintaining substantial parts of the natural system while at the same time providing ecosystem services for the human population. But the three were big thinkers, and in adapting to the present-day goals of combined environmental quality and economic development, they would probably approve of the CERP: bold, challenging, and complex, but with great potential for public good. We offer this report as our contribution to the realization of that lofty goal for the Everglades. William L. Graf Chair
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 15 The National Research Council and Everglades Restoration, 15 Report Organization, 21 2 THE RESTORATION IN CONTEXT 23 Background, 23 Large-scale Influences on the CERP, 38 Recent Changes in the South Florida Ecosystem, 56 Conclusions and Recommendations, 68 3 PROJECT PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION 71 Project Implementation, 71 Project Planning Issues, 90 Conclusions and Recommendations, 103 4 MOD WATERS 109 Objectives of the Modified Water Deliveries Project, 110 Overview and Status of Mod Waters Project Components, 117 Lessons Learned from Mod Waters, 136 Incremental Adaptive Restoration and Mod Waters, 140 Conclusions and Recommendations, 141 5 LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND ITS PLACE IN THE RESTORATION OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM 143 The Condition of Lake Okeechobee, 146 Effects of the Lake’s Condition on the South Florida Ecosystem, 159
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review - 2008 Steps Toward Rehabilitation of Lake Okeechobee and Affected Downstream Ecosystems, 165 Conclusions and Recommendations, 186 6 BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT 189 Adaptive Management, 190 CERP Monitoring and Assessment, 194 Information and Data Management, 212 Modeling Improvements in Support of Adaptive Management, 214 Conclusions and Recommendations, 219 7 SYNTHESIS OF CERP PROGRESS 223 Continuing Deterioration of the Natural System, 224 Scientific Knowledge and CERP Progress, 226 Funding and Implementation Problems That Limit Restoration Progress, 227 The CERP and the Public, 229 Conclusions, 230 REFERENCES 231 ACRONYMS 249 GLOSSARY 253 APPENDIXES A National Research Council Everglades Reports 267 B Summary from Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review - 2006 273 C Status of Key Non-CERP Projects 285 D Primary Purposes and Reported Natural System Benefits of Project Components Scheduled for Completion in MISP Band 1 (2005–2010) 295 E GAO Report Appendix II: Project Status and Cost by CERP, CERP-Related, and Non-CERP Categories 297 F Performance Measures 303 G Interim Restoration Goals for the CERP 307 H Standard Content of a Performance Measure Specification 313 I Water Science and Technology Board and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology 315 J Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 319