PROGRESS TOWARD RESTORING THE EVERGLADES

The Third Biennial Review - 2010

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.
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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 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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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 Manage- ment 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: 978-0-309-16006-3 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-16006-5 Cover credit: Cover image courtesy of Patrick Lynch, South Florida Water Management District. Photo showing a submerged aquatic vegetation cell within STA-5, used to provide final treatment of water before it is discharged into Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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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 man- date 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 examina- tion 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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COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROGRESS1 FRANK W. DAVIS, Chair, University of California, Santa Barbara STEVEN R. BEISSINGER, University of California, Berkeley WILLIAM G. BOGGESS, Oregon State University, Corvallis CHARLES T. DRISCOLL, Syracuse University, New York JOAN G. EHRENFELD, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia WENDY D. GRAHAM, University of Florida, Gainesville CHRIS T. HENDRICKSON, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WILLIAM P. HORN, Birch, Horton, Bittner, and Cherot, Washington, D.C. DAVID H. MOREAU, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill K. RAMESH REDDY, University of Florida, Gainesville R. WAYNE SKAGGS, North Carolina State University, Raleigh ROBERT R. TWILLEY, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge NRC Staff STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Study Director, Water Science and Technology Board DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Scholar, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology MICHAEL J. STOEVER, Research Associate, Water Science and Technology Board The activities of this committee were overseen and supported by the National Research Council’s 1 Water Science and Technology Board and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (see Appendix E for listing). Biographical information on committee members and staff is contained in Appendix F. v

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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: Ken Ammon, South Florida Water Management District Stu Appelbaum, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nick Aumen, National Park Service Carmela Bedregal, South Florida Water Management District Laura Brandt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Eric Bush, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eric Cline, South Florida Water Management District Susan Connor, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deborah Drum, South Florida Water Management District Dennis Duke, U.S. Department of the Interior Gretchen Ehlinger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Robert Fennema, National Park Service Carl Fitz, University of Florida Lawrence Gerry, South Florida Water Management District Patti Gorman, South Florida Water Management District Andy Gottlieb, South Florida Water Management District Susan Gray, South Florida Water Management District Scot Hagerthy, South Florida Water Management District Matt Harwell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lorraine Heisler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Todd Hopkins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delia Ivanoff, South Florida Water Management District Robert Johnson, National Park Service Ron Jones, Portland State University Ephraim King, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Greg Knecht, Florida Department of Environmental Protection vii

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viii Acknowledgments Steve Kopecky, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Timothy Lang, University of Florida Dexter Lehtinen, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians Andy LoSchiavo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Joette Lorion, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians Tom MacVicar, MacVicar, Federico, and Lamb Michael Magley, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chris McVoy, South Florida Water Management District June Mirecki, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Barron Moody, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Temperince Morgan, South Florida Water Management District Cal Neidrauer, South Florida Water Management District Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District John Ogden, Audubon Leonard Pearlstine, National Park Service Sylvia Pelizza, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Susie Perez-Quinn, Office of Sen. Bill Nelson Mark Perry, Everglades Coalition Tracey Piccone, South Florida Water Management District Garth Redfield, South Florida Water Management District Pam Repp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Terry Rice, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians LeRoy Rodgers, South Florida Water Management District David Rudnick, South Florida Water Management District Terrence “Rock” Salt, U.S. Department of the Interior (formerly) Lynn Scarlett, U.S. Department of the Interior (formerly) Dan Scheidt, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Len Shabman, Resources for the Future Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District Paul Souza, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Susan Sylvester, South Florida Water Management District Kimberly Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tom Teets, South Florida Water Management District Tim Towles, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Steve Traxler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tiffany Trent, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tom Van Lent, Everglades Foundation Bob Verrastro, South Florida Water Management District Mike Waldon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bill Walker, Independent Consultant Dewey Worth, South Florida Water Management District John Zediak, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Preface The Greater Everglades Ecosystem encompasses some of America’s most diverse and distinctive wetland landscapes. These include the sloughs and lakes of the upper Kissimmee River watershed, the meandering Kissimmee River and its broad floodplain, vast Lake Okeechobee, the sawgrass plain, ridge and slough wetlands and marl prairies south of the lake, and ultimately the bays and estuar- ies of the Florida peninsula. Distinctive in their own right, these landscapes are hydrologically and ecologically connected across more than 220 miles from north to south and across 18,000 square miles of southern Florida. Everglades landscapes are also connected by human cultures and activities. For 200 years they have been the homelands of the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes. Now more than 7 million people reside in South Florida, and at least five times that many visit South Florida each year. Agriculture and urban develop- ment have reduced the Everglades to less than half of its historical extent. The remnant ecosystem is intensely managed through the Central and South Florida project’s extensive network of canals, levees, and pumping stations to serve multiple competing demands for developable land, water supply, flood control, recreation, and environmental conservation. Continuing environmental degradation and endangerment of wildlife spe- cies has led to a long series of efforts to protect and restore the remaining Everglades. In 1999, the state of Florida and the federal government agreed to a multi-decadal, multi-billion dollar Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to protect and restore the remaining Everglades while meeting growing demands for water supply and flood control. Like the Kissimmee River Restora- tion in the northern part of the system, the CERP is being managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). In authorizing the CERP, the U.S. Congress mandated periodic indepen- dent reviews of progress toward restoring the natural system in the Everglades. The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Independent Scientific ix

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x Preface Review of Everglades Restoration Progress, or CISRERP, was formed for this pur- pose in 2004. This report, which is the third in a series of biennial evaluations that are expected to continue for the duration of the CERP, reflects the concerted efforts of 13 committee members and 3 NRC staff representing a wide range of scientific and engineering expertise. Our committee met six times over a period of 18 months including four times in Florida and once in Washington, D.C. We reviewed a large volume of written material and heard oral presentations from state and federal agency personnel, academic researchers, interest groups, and members of the public. The report presents our consensus view of restoration accomplishments and emerging challenges, primarily during the past 2 years but also over the 10 years since the project was authorized. It has been a particularly eventful period for Everglades restoration; ground has been broken on several important projects, and several others are set to begin. There have been important advances in scientific understanding. At the same time, challenges in achieving water quality standards and water storage and re-distribution have become more apparent. The number of activities and volume of information associated with Everglades restoration have grown truly daunting. I appreciate how much time, attention, and thought every member of this committee has invested in absorbing and digesting so much material. I especially appreciate their careful, rigorous analyses, their expert judgment, and their constructive comments and reviews. Our committee is indebted to many individuals for their contributions of information and resources. Specifically, we appreciate the efforts of our commit- tee’s technical liaisons—David Tipple (USACE), Glenn Landers (USACE), Larry Gerry (SFWMD), Robert Johnson (National Park Service), and Todd Hopkins (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)—who assisted the committee with numerous information requests and helped the committee utilize the vast resources of agency expertise when needed. Many others educated our committee on the complexities of Everglades restoration through their presentations, field trips, and public comments (see Acknowledgments). The committee has been fortunate to have the support and collaboration of an excellent NRC staff: Stephanie Johnson and David Policansky have been extraordinary sources of information and advice and have contributed signifi- cantly to this report. Michael Stoever has provided superb support during and between meetings and has also been instrumental in producing the report. I speak for the entire committee in expressing our profound respect and gratitude. This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their breadth of perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with the proce- dures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review was to provide candid and critical com- ments to assist the institution in ensuring that its published report is scientifically

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Preface xi credible and that it meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The reviewer comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the deliberative process. We thank the following reviewers for their helpful suggestions, all of which were considered and many of which were wholly or partly incorporated in the final report: Richard M. Adams, Oregon State University; Linda K. Blum, University of Virginia; Aaron Higer, U.S. Geological Survey; John Ogden, Audubon of Florida; Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota; Curt Richardson, Duke University; Donald I. Siegel, Syracuse University; John C. Volin, University of Connecticut. Although these reviewers provided many constructive comments and sug- gestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Gordon Orians, University of Washington, and Frank Stillinger, Princeton University. 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 received full consideration. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC. Frank W. Davis, Chair Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP)

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Contents ABSTRACT 1 SUMMARY 3 1 INTRODUCTION 15 The National Research Council and Everglades Restoration, 16 Report Organization, 21 2 THE RESTORATION PLAN IN CONTEXT 23 The South Florida Ecosystem’s Decline, 23 South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Goals, 31 Restoration Activities, 34 10 Years Later: The Changing Environmental and Socioeconomic Context for the CERP, 38 Conclusions and Recommendations, 60 3 IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS 62 CERP Restoration Implementation, 62 Non-CERP Restoration Implementation, 90 Programmatic Progress, 102 Conclusions and Recommendations, 109 4 CHALLENGES IN RESTORING WATER TIMING, FLOW, AND 112 DISTRIBUTION Past and Future Changes to South Florida’s Water Budgets and Flow Regimes, 112 Partial Hydrologic Restoration and Spatial Tradeoffs, 119 Case Study: Restoring Water Flows in WCA-3, 129 Conclusions and Recommendations, 147 xiii

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xiv Contents 5 CHALLENGES IN RESTORING WATER QUALITY 149 Pre-Drainage Nutrient Conditions, 149 Legal Context for Water Quality in the South Florida Ecosystem, 150 Toward a Systemwide Phosphorus Budget, 158 Effectiveness of Current Phosphorus Management Practices, 163 Cost-Effectiveness Considerations, 188 Sulfur, Mercury, and Phosphorus Interactions in the Everglades, 190 Calcium, Alkalinity, and Specific Conductance, 197 Conclusions and Recommendations, 201 6 USE OF SCIENCE IN DECISION MAKING 205 Adaptive Management, 206 Monitoring and Assessment Plan, 214 Research and Modeling Tools to Support Restoration, 221 Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services for Everglades Decision Making, 237 Conclusions and Recommendations, 241 REFERENCES 244 ACRONYMS 263 GLOSSARY 266 APPENDIXES A National Research Council Everglades Reports 281 B Timeline of Significant Events in South Florida Ecosystem 287 Management and Restoration C Status of Key Non-CERP Projects 291 D Regulation Schedule for WCA-3A 301 E Water Science and Technology Board, Board on Environmental 303 Studies and Toxicology F Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 305