ecosystem has been fundamentally altered by human modifications of it and by population growth over the past 130 years, and achieving the goals of the ambitious restoration plan remains challenging. The scientific attention that has been brought to bear on the system is impressive and has produced powerful results. Some species, particularly wading birds, Cape Sable seaside sparrows, and panthers appear to be increasing or stable, while others, such as the snail kite, have declined perilously close to extinction. Invasive species continue to present major challenges, even as some of them are being well controlled. Managing water quality and providing the required storage for the restoration continue to be challenging.
This committee reaffirms its predecessor’s conclusions (NRC, 2008) that the limited progress made to date, coupled with environmental and societal changes and continued declines of some aspects of the ecosystem, make accelerated progress in Everglades restoration even more important. Delays will continue to jeopardize the success of the restoration enterprise. The commitment to long-term scientific activities, including monitoring and assessment, remains essential. The following chapters address these matters in more detail.