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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

PROGRESS TOWARD
RESTORING THE EVERGLADES

The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016

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

A Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001

This activity was supported by the Department of the Army under Cooperative Agreement No. W912EP-04-2-0001. Support for this project was also 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 do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45087-4
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-45087-X
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/23672

Cover image courtesy of David J. Policansky.

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review – 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×
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Reports document the evidence-based consensus of an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and committee deliberations. Reports are peer reviewed and are approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Proceedings chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other convening event. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and have not been endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROGRESS

DAVID B. ASHLEY (Chair), University of Southern California

MARY JANE ANGELO, University of Florida, Gainesville

WILLIAM G. BOGGESS, Oregon State University, Corvallis

CHARLES T. DRISCOLL, Syracuse University, New York

M. SIOBHAN FENNESSY, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio

WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia

KARL E. HAVENS, University of Florida, Gainesville

WAYNE C. HUBER, Oregon State University, Corvallis

FERNANDO R. MIRALLES-WILHELM, University of Maryland, College Park

DAVID H. MOREAU, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

GORDON H. ORIANS, University of Washington, Seattle

DENISE J. REED, The Water Institute of the Gulf, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

JAMES E. SAIERS, Yale University, Connecticut

JEFFREY R. WALTERS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

NRC Staff

STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Study Director, Water Science and Technology Board

DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Scholar, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

ED DUNNE, Program Officer, Water Science and Technology Board

BRENDAN R. McGOVERN, Senior Program Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

Acknowledgments

Many individuals assisted the committee and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff in their task to create this report. We would like to express our appreciation to the following people who have provided presentations or public comment to the committee:

Nick Aumen, U.S. Geological Survey

Drew Bartlett, Florida Department of Environment Protection

James Beerens, U.S. Geological Survey

Ingrid Bon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Eric Bush, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Cara Campbell, Ecology Party of Florida

Cara Capp, Everglades Coalition

Pat Cauley, Rep. Clawson’s Office

David Ceilley, Florida Gulf Coast University

Newton Cook, United Waterfowlers of Florida

Anna Maria Costillo, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation

Chris Costillo, Sierra Club

Dan Crawford, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Steve Davis, Everglades Foundation

Tylan Dean, U.S. National Park Service

Don DeAngelis, University of Miami

Deb Drum, Martin County

James Erskine, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians

Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Department of the Interior

Jim Fourqurean, Florida International University

Howie Gonzales, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Patti Gorman, South Florida Water Management District

Wendy Graham, University of Florida, Gainesville

Jaime Graulau, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Susan Gray, South Florida Water Management District

Jud Harvey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Jennifer Hecker, Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Don Jodrey, U.S. Department of the Interior

Bob Johnson, U.S. National Park Service

Jennifer Leeds, South Florida Water Management District

Tom Lodge, Thomas E. Lodge Ecological Advisors, Inc.

Tom MacVicar, MacVicar Consulting

Ernie Marks, South Florida Water Management District

Jeremy McBryan, South Florida Water Management District

Agnes McLean, U.S. National Park Service

John Mitnik, South Florida Water Management District

Matt Morrison, South Florida Water Management District

Martha Musgrove, Florida Wildlife Federation

Cal Neidrauer, South Florida Water Management District

Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District

Gib Owen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Leonard Pearlstine, U.S. National Park Service

Colin Polsky, Florida Center for Environmental Studies

Bob Progulske, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gina Ralph, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Armando Ramirez, South Florida Water Management District

Nathanial Reed

Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Stephanie Romanach, U.S. Geological Survey

Colin Saunders, South Florida Water Management District

Dan Scheidt, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dawn Sheriffs, Everglades Foundation

Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District

Ed Smith, Florida Department of Environment Protection

Karen Smith, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mike Sukop, Florida International University

Donatto Surratt, U.S. National Park Service

Kim Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tom Teets, South Florida Water Management District

Abby Tinsley, U.S. Senator Nelson’s Office

Jorge Tous, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Steve Traxler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Joel Trexler, Florida International University

Ryan Valdez, National Park Conservation Association

Kate White, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

Preface

South Florida is blessed with a unique, wonderfully diverse, and geographically extensive, wetland ecosystem reaching from south of Orlando to the Florida Keys. After nearly 150 years of drainage, channelization and flood control actions, this extraordinary natural resource has been dramatically altered and continues to decline. Where water once traveled slowly south toward the Everglades National Park through ridge and slough wetlands, marl prairies and sawgrass plains, it is now often diverted to the ocean or to other uses—less than half ever reaches its historic destination. The quality of the water remaining in the system is compromised by the phosphorus, nitrogen, mercury and other contaminants introduced by urban development, agriculture, and industry. The combination of reduced water flow and degraded water quality impacts has adversely changed land formation and vegetation patterns. Experts recognized over 20 years ago that significant action was needed to preserve and maintain this national wetland resource.

The U.S. Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) in 2000 as the multi-decadal, multi-billion-dollar response. The CERP is focused on restoring, preserving, and protecting the South Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region. This massive restoration program, the largest in U.S. history, is jointly administered by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and is equally funded by federal and Florida monies. As part of the initial authorization, Congress mandated periodic independent reviews of progress toward restoration of the Everglades natural system. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress, or CISRERP, was formed for this purpose in 2004. This report represents the sixth biennial review of CERP progress by this committee.

This sixth iteration of CISRERP includes a mix of science and engineering specialists brought together for their combined expertise in environmental, biological, hydrologic, and geographic sciences; systems engineering; project

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

and program administration; law; economics; and public policy. These experts were selected for their eminence in their fields, as well as their experience with complex, natural systems similar to the Everglades. As committee chair, I am extremely appreciative of the significant time and energy, as well as intellectual capital, committee members devoted to this review; they performed careful, rigorous analyses of program progress and systemic issues. Our committee deliberations were always constructive, collegial, and professional—the positive spirit and good humor contributed to an especially enjoyable collaboration process. This 2016 report is a truly consensus committee product documenting the most critical factors in the successful completion of the CERP program.

The committee wishes to thank many individuals for the information and resources they provided. Specifically, we appreciate the efforts of the committee’s technical liaisons—David Tipple (USACE), Glenn Landers (USACE), Rod Braun (SFWMD), and Robert Johnson (DOI)—who responded to numerous information requests and facilitated the committee’s access to agency resources and expertise when needed. The committee is also grateful to the numerous individuals who shared their insights and knowledge of Everglades restoration through presentations, field trips, and public comments (see Acknowledgments).

The committee was assisted by five dedicated and very talented National Academies’ staff: Stephanie Johnson, David Policansky, Ed Dunne, Brendan McGovern, and Michael Stoever. Stephanie Johnson has served as senior program officer for all six CISRERP panels and is a deep reservoir of Everglades history and knowledge. Her comprehensive understanding of CERP and its component parts, the complex physical system, agency interrelationships, diverse constituencies, and the surrounding political landscape, gave her an unparalleled vantage point in supporting the committee’s activities. Stephanie’s stewardship of the final report creation process, initial drafting through completion, was exceptional. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine scholar David Policansky is also a veteran of all the CISRERP panels and his experience, insightful observations, and penetrating questions were fundamental to the committee’s deliberations. Brendan McGovern, and Michael Stoever before him, most ably supported the logistical needs of the committee. Brendan was also a valued contributor in completing the final report. Representing the entire committee, I wish to express our profound appreciation for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff’s exceptional abilities and unswerving support.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to 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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
×

protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Stu Appelbaum, ARCADIS, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Steven Beissinger, University of California, Berkeley

Peter Goodwin, University of Idaho, Boise

James Heaney, University of Florida, Gainesville

Catherine Kling, Iowa State University, Ames

Len Shabman, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC

Chad Smith, Headwaters Corporation, Vestal, NY

Alan Steinmann, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, MI

Ramesh Teegavarapu, Florida Atlantic University, Baco Raton

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before the release. The review of this report was overseen by Robin McGuire, Lettis Consultants International, Inc., Boulder, CO; and Kenneth Potter, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 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 were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

In this sixth CISRERP review cycle, our committee has the pleasure of reporting the early ecosystem benefits from CERP investments. Another portion of our charge is to illuminate those issues that may impede or diminish the overall success of CERP. In the past, we have highlighted the slow rate of program implementation, focus on the periphery rather than the center, adverse trajectories for natural system components, potential impacts of climate change, and implications of invasive species. We believe our independent reviews have brought an important and timely focus on these critical concerns. Our attention this review is on what we have learned in the 16 years since initial authorization. Everglades restoration has always been an ambitious and complex endeavor; our current review emphasizes how it is also dynamic. Incorporating this new information into future program planning and implementation is crucial to achieving ultimate ecosystem restoration success. We offer this report in the spirit of bringing focus to what has been learned and how it informs future CERP planning.

David Ashley, Chair
Committee on Independent Scientific Review of
Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Acronyms

AF acre-feet
ASR aquifer storage and recovery

BMAP

Basin Management Action Plan

BMP best management practice

CEPP

Central Everglades Planning Project

CERP Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
cfs cubic feet per second
CISRERP Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress
COP combined operational plan
CROGEE Committee on the Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem
C&SF Central and Southern Florida

DMSTA

Dynamic Model for Stormwater Treatment Areas

DOI U.S. Department of the Interior
DPM Decomp(artmentalization) Physical Model

EAA

Everglades Agricultural Area

EDRR early detection and rapid response
ELM Everglades Landscape Model
ENP Everglades National Park
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ERTP Everglades Restoration Transition Plan

FDEP

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

FEB flow equalization basin
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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FHA Federal Highway Administration
FWM flow-weighted mean
FWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
FY fiscal year

GDM

General Design Memorandum

HHD

Herbert Hoover Dike

IDS

Integrated Delivery Schedule

IOP Interim Operational Plan
IRL-S Indian River Lagoon-South

JEM

Joint Ecosystem Modeling

kAF

thousand acre-feet

LILA

Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment

LNWR Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
LOPA Lake Okeechobee Protection Act
LORS Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule

MAF

million acre-feet

MBTA Migratory Bird Treaty Act
MGD million gallons per day
MOM Management Options Matrix

NAVD

North American Vertical Datum

NESRS Northeast Shark River Slough
NGVD National Geodetic Vertical Datum
NRC National Research Council
NSM Natural System Model
NSRSM Natural System Regional Simulation Model

ppb

parts per billion

psu practical salinity units

RECOVER

REstoration, COordination, and VERification

RESOPS Reservoir Sizing and Operations Screening
RPA Reasonable and Prudent Alternative
RSM Regional Simulation Model
Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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RSMWQ Regional Simulation Model Water Quality engine

SERES

Synthesis of Everglades Research and Ecosystem Services

SFERTF South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force
SFWMD South Florida Water Management District
SFWMM South Florida Water Management Model
STA stormwater treatment area

TBD

to be determined

TMDL total maximum daily load
TP total phosphorus

USACE

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

USGS U.S. Geological Survey

WADEM

Wader Distribution Evaluation Modeling

WCA Water Conservation Area
WPA Water Preserve Area
WQBEL water quality-based effluent limit
WRDA Water Resources Development Act
WRRDA Water Resources Reform and Development Act
WSE Water Supply and Environment
WY water year
Page xviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review - 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23672.
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The Everglades ecosystem is vast, stretching more than 200 miles from Orlando to Florida Bay, and Everglades National Park is but a part located at the southern end. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the historical Everglades has been reduced to half of its original size, and what remains is not the pristine ecosystem many image it to be, but one that has been highly engineered and otherwise heavily influenced, and is intensely managed by humans. Rather than slowly flowing southward in a broad river of grass, water moves through a maze of canals, levees, pump stations, and hydraulic control structures, and a substantial fraction is diverted from the natural system to meet water supply and flood control needs. The water that remains is polluted by phosphorus and other contaminants originating from agriculture and other human activities. Many components of the natural system are highly degraded and continue to degrade.

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades is the sixth biennial review of progress made in meeting the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). This complex, multibillion-dollar project to protect and restore the remaining Everglades has a 30-40 year timeline. This report assesses progress made in the various separate project components and discusses specific scientific and engineering issues that may impact further progress. According to Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades, a dedicated source of funding could provide ongoing long-term system-wide monitoring and assessment that is critical to meeting restoration objectives. This report examines the implications of knowledge gained and changes in widely accepted scientific understanding regarding pre-drainage hydrology, climate change, and the feasibility of water storage since the CERP was developed.

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