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Appendix C Timeline of Significant Events in South Florida Ecosystem Management and Restoration 1934 Everglades National Park is authorized. 1948 Congress authorizes the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project to control the water flow in the Everglades. From 1949 to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Central and South- ern Florida (C&SF) Flood Control District built and operated the project works. 1968 Biscayne National Park is established as a national monument; expanded to a national park in 1980. 1972 The Florida Water Resources Act establishes fundamental water policy for Florida, attempting to meet human needs and sustain natural systems put- ting in place a comprehensive strategic program to preserve and restore the Everglades ecosystem. 1974 Big Cypress National Preserve is created. 1983 Florida Governor’s Save Our Everglades Program outlines a six-point plan for restoring and protecting the South Florida ecosystem so that it functions more like it did in the early 1900s. 1987 The Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management Act requires the five Florida water management districts to develop plans to clean up and preserve Florida lakes, bays, estuaries, and rivers. 1989 The Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park Project is authorized. 219
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220 Appendix C 1990 The Florida Preservation 2000 Act establishes a coordinated land acquisi- tion program at $300 million per year for 10 years to protect the integrity of ecological systems and to provide multiple benefits, including the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, recreation space, and water recharge areas. 1992 Federal and state parties enter into a Consent Decree on Everglades water quality issues in federal court. Under the agreement, all parties commit themselves to achieving both the water quality and quantity necessary to protect and restore the unique ecological characteristics of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1992 authorizes the Kissimmee River Restoration Project and the C&SF Project Restudy, a comprehensive review study for restoring the hydrology of South Florida. 1994 The Florida Everglades Forever Act enacts into state law the settlement provisions of federal-state water quality litigation and provides a financing mechanism for the state to advance water quality improvements in the Everglades by constructing more than 44,000 acres of stormwater treat- ment areas (STAs) for water entering the Everglades Protection Area. The act also requires the South Florida Water Management District to ensure that best management practices (BMPs) are used to reduce phosphorus in waters discharged into the STAs from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) and other areas. The rule-making process by which the numeric total phosphorus criterion of 10 parts per billion (ppb) is proposed for the Everglades Protection Area also was established by this act. 1996 WRDA 1996 formally establishes the intergovernmental South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to coordinate the restoration effort among the state, federal, tribal, and local agencies. It authorizes the USACE to implement the critical restoration projects (see Box 2-3). Section 390 of the Farm Bill grants $200 million to conduct restoration activities in the South Florida ecosystem. 1999 WRDA 1999 extends Critical Restoration Project authority until 2003 and authorizes two pilot infrastructure projects proposed in the Comprehen- sive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
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Appendix C 221 The Florida Forever Act improves and continues the coordinated land acquisition program initiated by the Florida Preservation 2000 Act of 1990 and commits $300 million per year for 10 years. 2000 WRDA 2000 authorizes the CERP as a framework for modifying the C entral and Southern Florida Project to increase future water supplies, with the appropriate timing and distribution, for environmental purposes so as to achieve a restored Everglades ecosystem, while at the same time meeting other water-related needs of the ecosystem. WRDA 2000 includes $1.4 billion in authorizations for 10 initial Everglades infrastruc- ture projects, 4 pilot projects, and an adaptive management and moni- toring program. It also grants programmatic authority for projects with immediate and substantial restoration benefits at a total cost of $206 mil- lion and establishes a 50 percent federal cost-share for implementation of the CERP and for operation and maintenance. The Florida legislature passes the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act, a phased, comprehensive program designed to restore and protect the lake. 2003 Programmatic Regulations are issued that establish a procedural frame- work and set specific requirements that guide implementation of the CERP to ensure that the goals and purposes of the CERP are achieved. 2004 The State of Florida unveils a plan to accelerate restoration of America’s Everglades (Acceler8). 2005 The State of Florida announces the Lake Okeechobee Estuary Recovery Plan to help restore the ecological health of Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. 2007 The Florida state legislature authorizes the Northern Everglades and E stuaries Protection Program, which expands the Lake Okeechobee Pro- tection Act to strengthen protection for the northern Everglades by restor- ing and preserving the Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee, and St. Lucie watersheds, including the estuaries. WRDA 2007 authorizes three projects under the CERP: the Indian River Lagoon-South Project, Picayune Strand Restoration, and the Site 1 Impoundment Project. WRDA 2007 also increases funding limits for WRDA 1996 critical projects and for three WRDA 1999 authorized pilot projects.
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222 Appendix C 2008 The state of Florida announces that it will begin negotiations to acquire 187,000 acres of farmland in the EAA from the U.S. Sugar Corporation for $1.75 billion for the purpose of restoration, and a negotiated proposal to acquire the land for $1.34 billion is approved by the South Florida Water Management District’s governing board. 2009 Federal and state parties enter into a “master agreement” detailing how the costs and duties will be shared for 68 projects that Congress approved in 2000, beginning with the reclamation of 55,000 acres in the Picayune Strand. 2010 The South Florida Water Management District’s governing board approves a revised plan to purchase 26,800 acres of land for approxi- mately $197 million, while retaining the option to acquire more than 153,000 additional acres over the next 10 years. SOURCES: SFERTF (2006); http://everglades.fiu.edu/reclaim/timeline/index. htm; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/24/ AR2008062401140.html.