understanding of the current distribution of water in South Florida and of the flows needed to restore the Everglades ecosystem.
In 1988, in part in response to recommendations made by the newly formed Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the governor of Louisiana established an office to coordinate all of the state's coastal management and restoration efforts, and in 1989, by a 2-to-1 margin, the voters of the state approved a referendum setting up a coastal wetlands restoration fund, financed by new oil and gas taxes, with revenues up to $25 million per year. In 1990, Congress enacted the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (United States Senate, 1990) that establishes a joint federal-state task force to identify and implement wetland restoration projects in Louisiana and a joint planning group to devise an overall plan for the restoration of coastal Louisiana, with the source of funding being a portion of the federal tax surcharge on nonmotor vehicular oil and gas consumption.
A third example concerns the Stillwater wetlands in Nevada. A plan to acquire water rights to restore Stillwater wetlands was initiated largely by an environmental group, the Environmental Defense Fund, following a proposal put together by a task force in the mid-1970s. What helped to make the proposal a reality was the appropriation of about $1 million in federal funds. The proposal calls for the acquisition of 50,000 acre-feet of water to be purchased from willing sellers who are farmers. Nevada funding has come from a State Parks and Wildlife Bond. The Nature Conservancy has advanced funds as well.
The largest commitment to wetland restoration made by Congress in 1990 was the adoption of the Agricultural Wetland Reserve Program as part of the 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (P.L. 101–624). This program could help to reconvert one million acres of cropland to wetlands, and it may be funded largely, albeit indirectly, through reduction of USDA subsidies that would otherwise apply to these croplands.
The history of aquatic ecosystem management in the twentieth century in the United States has been one of federal domination. The federal river basin planning process came to be identified with the missions and priorities of federal water project construction agencies; the states tended to retreat from an active role in this process and take a "let the federal government do it—and pay for it" attitude (Allee et al., 1982). The original Kissimmee River project, which made