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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades

The First Biennial Review – 2006

Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP)

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. www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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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 Management 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: 978-0-309-10335-0

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10335-5

Cover credit: Cover images courtesy of the South Florida Water Management District. From top to bottom: development along the eastern edge of the Everglades in western Miami-Dade County; satellite image of Water Conservation Areas 3A and 3B, taken April 1994; and inflow water control structure G337A at Stormwater Treatment Area 2.

Additional copies of this report are available from the

National Academies Press,

500 5th Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


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 mandate 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. Wm. A. Wulf 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 examination 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. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROGRESS*

WAYNE C. HUBER, Chair,

Oregon State University, Corvallis

BARBARA L. BEDFORD,

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

LINDA K. BLUM,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

DONALD F. BOESCH,

University of Maryland, Cambridge

F. DOMINIC DOTTAVIO,

Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio

WILLIAM L. GRAF,

University of South Carolina, Columbia

CHRIS T. HENDRICKSON,

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

JIANGUO LIU,

Michigan State University, East Lansing

GORDON H. ORIANS,

University of Washington (emeritus), Seattle

P. SURESH C. RAO,

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

LEONARD A. SHABMAN,

Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, D.C.

JEFFREY R. WALTERS,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

NRC Staff

STEPHEN D. PARKER, Study Director,

Water Science and Technology Board

DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Scholar,

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Senior Program Officer,

Water Science and Technology Board

DOROTHY K. WEIR, Research Associate,

Water Science and Technology Board

*

The activities of this committee were overseen and supported by the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board and Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (see Appendix D for listing). Biographical information on committee members and staff is contained in Appendix E.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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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, served as guides during the field trips, and provided comments to the committee:

Presentations

Shabbir Ahmed, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Stuart Applebaum, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Nick Aumen, National Park Service

Ronnie Best, U.S. Geological Survey

Steve Davis, South Florida Water Management District

Larry Gerry, South Florida Water Management District

Steve Gilbert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gary Goforth, Gary Goforth, Inc.

David Hallac, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Matt Harwell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Delia Ivanoff, South Florida Water Management District

Robert Johnson, National Park Service

David Krabbenhoft, U.S. Geological Survey

Elmar Kurzbach, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Steve Light, CAMNet

Jerry Lorenz, National Audubon Society

Greg May, South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force

Frank Mazzotti, University of Florida

Stefani Melvin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Brenda Mills, South Florida Water Management District

John Ogden, South Florida Water Management District

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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Peter Ortner, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Gary Rand, Florida International University

Garth Redfield, South Florida Water Management District

Russell Reed, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Barry Rosen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Pam Sievers, South Florida Water Management District

Patti Sime, South Florida Water Management District

Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District

Jay Slack, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Kimberley Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tom Teets, South Florida Water Management District

Tom Van Lent, Everglades Foundation

Paul Warner, South Florida Water Management District

Russell Weeks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Field Trip Guides

Nick Aumen, National Park Service

Laura Brandt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Eric Cline, South Florida Water Management District

Sandy Dayhoff, National Park Service

Robert Johnson, National Park Service

Dan Kimball, National Park Service

Carol Mitchell, National Park Service

Rolf Olson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Larry Perez, National Park Service

Bill Perry, National Park Service

Bob Sobczak, National Park Service

Kimberley Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Public Comment

Sydney Bacchus, Hydroecologist

John Marshall, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation

Tom Poulson, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation

Brian Scherf, Sierra Club

Rod Tirrell, Sierra Club

Jon Ullman, Sierra Club

Tom Warnke, Surfrider Foundation

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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Preface

The Everglades are unique in the world in its assemblage of geographic and ecological wonders, ranging from tree islands to exotic reptiles and wading birds. With a landscape that slopes as little as an inch per mile, the water in the “River of Grass” historically moved slowly but inexorably from the region of Lake Okeechobee southward toward the current Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, sustaining its unique ecological riches. However, nearly 130 years of drainage, channelization, encroachment, and development for the beneficial uses of agriculture, industry, and cities have reduced the original 3 million acres of natural landscape by about half. Water destined for Everglades National Park must now run a gauntlet of canals, levees, pump stations, and hydraulic controls. Pollution of pristine natural waters by phosphorus and mercury and invasion by exotic species further compromise the ability of the Everglades to support its ecological functions.

In response to these issues, the state of Florida and the nation have formed a partnership to restore the remaining Everglades ecosystem as nearly as possible to pre-drainage hydrologic conditions, under the reasonable assumption that if we “get the water right” a positive ecological response will follow. The nearly 11 billion dollar (2004 estimate) Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, or CERP, is the realization of this partnership, as jointly managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000, or WRDA 2000, the Plan includes provision for independent scientific oversight as to progress in restoring the natural system. The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress, or CISRERP, was formed for this purpose in 2004; this report is the first of a series of biennial evaluations that are scheduled to last the 30-year lifetime of the CERP.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
×

Our committee met seven times, including five times in Florida, for the purposes of gathering information, receiving input from professionals and the public, and formulating and reaching consensus on this first report. We heard from state and federal personnel, environmental groups, academicians, and citizens. The committee relied on scientific literature, agency reports, online resources, presentations, field trips, and other information relevant to our charge. Evaluating this information and synthesizing our report has easily filled up the approximately 2-year span of our activities. Restoration activities are highly dynamic; of necessity, we were unable to review in detail any material developed past about December 1, 2005.

Although the CERP has been active for 5 years, little if any in-ground construction has occurred while detailed design efforts are under way. Nonetheless, there are more than enough topics on which to report, including project management, financing, sequencing, the role of science, monitoring and assessment, non-CERP restoration projects, and the importance of land acquisition. In particular, we highlight the opportunities for active adaptive management on the part of the USACE and the SFWMD to reduce scientific uncertainties while simultaneously initiating projects at a scale that will positively affect the natural system.

Needless to say, our committee could not address all scientific and technical issues that affect restoration progress in this first report. The timing of the release of key restoration documents by the CERP and the emergence of particular issues of concern influenced the topics addressed in this report. Thus, many topics await evaluation by succeeding incarnations of the CISRERP. For example, future topics might include the output of models that attempt to simulate the pre-drainage hydrology of the Everglades, the appropriate spatial scales for understanding and managing hydrology, better understanding of how the CERP is affected by changes in the timing or design of individual projects, and the potential influence of climate change on restoration success. By delivery of the next report in 2008, construction will have been completed on some pilot and other CERP projects, and more effort will also have been expended by the committee in analyzing such accomplishments.

Our committee is indebted to many individuals for their contributions of information and resources. Specifically, we appreciate the guidance of our committee’s technical liaisons: Elmar Kurzbach (USACE), Garth Redfield (SFWMD), Tom Van Lent (formerly of the National Park Service), Barry Rosen (formerly of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]), and Todd Hopkins (USFWS). Numerous others helped educate our committee on the complexities of the Everglades restoration through their presentations, field

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
×

trips, and public comments (see Acknowledgments). The 12 members of the committee worked in full partnership with senior project officer Stephanie Johnson, who directed the study for the NRC, and NRC scholar David Policansky. Stephanie’s particular dexterity in simultaneously running a meeting, contributing to the discussion, taking notes, and synthesizing the results is truly amazing. The committee enjoyed thoughtful oversight by director of the Water Science and Technology Board Stephen Parker and expert logistical and editorial support from Dorothy Weir.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the NRC in making its published report as sound as possible and will ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John J. Boland, Johns Hopkins University; Rita R. Colwell, University of Maryland; Dara Entekhabi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Elsa M. Garmire, Dartmouth College; Louis J. Gross, University of Tennessee; Lt. Gen. Elvin R. Heiberg III, Heiberg Associates, Inc.; Charles D. D. Howard, CddHoward Consulting Ltd; Thomas K. MacVicar, MacVicar, Federico and Lamb, Inc.; Judith L. Meyer, University of Georgia; Robert R. Twilley, Louisiana State University; and Thomas Van Lent, The Everglades Foundation. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Leo M. Eisel, Brown and Caldwell, appointed by the NRC’s Division on Earth and Life Studies, and Frank H. Stillinger of Princeton University, appointed by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. They were responsible for ensuring that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with NRC institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.


Wayne C. Huber, Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2007. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11754.
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This report is the first in a congressionally mandated series of biennial evaluations of the progress being made by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a multibillion-dollar effort to restore historical water flows to the Everglades and return the ecosystem closer to its natural state, before it was transformed by drainage and by urban and agricultural development. The Restoration plan, which was launched in 1999 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, includes more than 40 major projects that are expected to be completed over the next three decades. The report finds that progress has been made in developing the scientific basis and management structures needed to support a massive effort to restore the Florida Everglades ecosystem. However, some important projects have been delayed due to several factors including budgetary restrictions and a project planning process that that can be stalled by unresolved scientific uncertainties. The report outlines an alternative approach that can help the initiative move forward even as it resolves remaining scientific uncertainties. The report calls for a boost in the rate of federal spending if the restoration of Everglades National Park and other projects are to be completed on schedule.

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