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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Third Biennial Review - 2010
troversy and concerns about management. Restoring hydrologic conditions while providing adequate storage and meeting water quality goals is also a difficult challenge. Achieving water quality goals throughout the South Florida ecosystem, especially for phosphorus content, will be enormously costly and will take decades to achieve. Some tradeoffs are inevitable in the CERP, given the reduced extent, altered topography, and reduced storage of the modern Everglades, and integrated hydrologic, ecological, and biogeochemical models and multi-objective decision analysis tools are needed to help evaluate design and management alternatives. Also, rigorous scientific analyses of the tradeoffs between water quality and quantity are needed to inform future prioritization and funding decisions. The analyses should include consideration of the time scales, spatial dependencies, and degree of reversibility of damage from continued degradation to various ecosystem components. Understanding and communicating these tradeoffs to decision makers and stakeholders are critical aspects of CERP planning and implementation.
Despite these challenges, experience with some projects, such as the restoration of the Kissimmee River, and recent progress on some critical CERP and non-CERP projects, lead to optimism that if restoration progress continues, substantial ecological benefits will accrue to the ecosystem, even if the effort does not achieve all the restoration goals originally envisioned by the CERP.