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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

PROGRESS TOWARD
RESTORING THE EVERGLADES

The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018

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 Consensus Study Report of

images

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20001

Support for this study was provided 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: 978-0-309-47978-3
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-47978-9
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25198

Cover credit: David Policansky

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu/.

Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review—2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25198.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

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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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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF EVERGLADES RESTORATION PROGRESS

WILLIAM G. BOGGESS, Chair, Oregon State University, Corvallis

MARY JANE ANGELO, University of Florida, Gainesville

CHARLES T. DRISCOLL, Syracuse University, New York

M. SIOBHAN FENNESSY, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio

WENDY D. GRAHAM, University of Florida, Gainesville

KARL E. HAVENS, University of Florida, Gainesville

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, University of New Orleans, Louisiana

JAMES E. SAIERS, Yale University, Connecticut

ERIC P. SMITH, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

DENICE H. WARDROP, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

GREG D. WOODSIDE, Orange County Water District, Fountain Valley, California

Staff

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

BRENDAN R. McGOVERN, Research Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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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 provided presentations or public comment to the committee or served as field trip guides.

Nick Aumen, U.S. Geological Survey

James Beerens, U.S. Geological Survey

Laura Brandt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tim Breen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Trisston Brown, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Rich Budell, Budell Water Group

Cara Capp, National Parks Conservation Association

Dean Carpenter, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership

Bill Causey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Bahram Charkhian, South Florida Water Management District

Cris Costello, Sierra Club

Dan Crawford, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Steve Culberson, Delta Stewardship Council

Steve Davis, Everglades Foundation

Celeste De Palma, Audubon Florida

Michael Drog, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Dennis Duke, U.S. Geological Survey

Gretchen Ehlinger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Shannon Estenoz, Department of Interior

Michelle Ferree, South Florida Water Management District

Brad Foster, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Jim Fourqurean, Florida International University

Tom Frankovich, Florida International University

Evelyn Gaiser, Florida International University

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Donna George, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Alex Gillen, Bull Sugar

David Gillings, Palm Beach County

Howie Gonzales, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Patti Gorman, South Florida Water Management District

Susan Gray, South Florida Water Management District

Paul Gray, Audubon Florida

Tim Gysan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Chuck Hanlon, South Florida Water Management District

Rainer Hoenicke, Delta Stewardship Council

Bud Howard, Loxahatchee River District

Tom James, South Florida Water Management District

LTC Jennifer Reynolds, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Kang-Ren Jin, South Florida Water Management District

Bob Johnson, U.S. National Park Service

Paul Julian, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Kelly Keefe, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Chris Kelble, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

William “Chad” Kennedy, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Kevin Kotun, U.S. National Park Service

Glenn Landers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Jennifer Leeds, South Florida Water Management District

Andy LoSchiavo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Ernie Marks, South Florida Water Management District

Jenna May, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Agnes McLean, U.S. National Park Service

Miles Meyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Brenda Mills, South Florida Water Management District

June Mirecki, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Robert Mooney

Matt Morrison, South Florida Water Management District

Melissa Nasuti, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mark Nelson, Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Mindy Parrott, South Florida Water Management District

April Patterson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mark Perry, Everglades Coalition

Patrick Pitts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rene Price, Florida International University

Bob Progulske, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Jed Redwine, U.S. National Park Service

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

Gregg Reynolds, U.S. National Park Service

Stephanie Romanach, U.S. Geological Survey

Barry Rosen, U.S. Geological Survey

Rob Rossmanith, Jonathan Dickinson State Park

David Rudnick, U.S. National Park Service

Steve Schubert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dawn Shirreffs, Everglades Foundation

Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District

Janet Starnes, South Florida Water Management District

Eric Summa, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Donatto Surratt, U.S. National Park Service

Peter Tango, U.S. Geological Survey

Kim Taplin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Brett Thomas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Joel Trexler, Florida International University

Tiffany Troxler, Florida International University

Diana Umpierre, Sierra Club

Stuart Van Horn, South Florida Water Management District

Craig van der Heiden, Miccosukee Tribe

Eva Velez, South Florida Water Management District

Bob Verrastro, South Florida Water Management District

Zach Welch, South Florida Water Management District

Walter Wilcox, South Florida Water Management District

Mike Yustin, Martin County

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Preface

South Florida is blessed with a unique, wonderfully diverse, and geographically extensive wetland ecosystem reaching from just 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 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 more than 20 years ago that significant action was needed to rescue and preserve this national treasure.

The U.S. Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) in 2000 as the multidecadal, multibillion-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 seventh biennial review of CERP progress by this committee.

This seventh iteration of CISRERP includes a mix of science and engineering specialists brought together for their combined expertise in environmental,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

biological, hydrologic, and geographic sciences; systems engineering; project 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. The committee met five times over a 14-month period, including four times in Florida. 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 committee’s task is a daunting one, given the size and complexity of the Everglades ecosystem and corresponding scope of the CERP. I greatly appreciate the time, attention, and thought each committee member invested in understanding this complex system. I also appreciate the careful, rigorous analyses, expert judgment, constructive comments and reviews, and good humor with which they conducted their work. The report presents our consensus view of restoration accomplishments and challenges that have emerged during not only the past 2 years but also the nearly two decades since the project was authorized.

The committee thanks many individuals for the information and resources they provided. Specifically, we appreciate the efforts of the committee’s technical liaisons—David Tipple (USACE), Donna George (USACE), Glenn Landers (USACE), Rod Braun (SFWMD), Megan Jacoby (SFWMD), and Robert Johnson (Department of the Interior)—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 had the good fortune to be assisted by three dedicated and very talented National Academies’ staff: Stephanie Johnson, David Policansky, and Brendan McGovern. Serving as senior project officer for all seven CISRERP panels, Stephanie Johnson orchestrated the study for the National Academies. 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 seven CISRERP panels, and his experience, insightful observations, and illuminating questions were fundamental to the committee’s deliberations. Brendan McGovern most ably supported the logistical needs of the committee. Brendan was also a valued contributor in completing the final report. Simply put, this report would not have been possible without the National

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Academies staff’s exceptional support and good humor. I know I speak for the entire committee in expressing our profound respect and appreciation.

This Consensus Study Report was 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 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, 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 thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Bonnie McCay, Rutgers University, 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 the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

In this seventh CISRERP review cycle, our committee has the pleasure of reporting on the early ecosystem benefits from CERP investments. The past 2 years have also been marked by impressive progress in meeting water quality targets, construction, and project planning. Another portion of our charge is to evaluate the effectiveness of the monitoring and assessment program in supporting resto-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
×

ration efforts. In this report, we provide a detailed review of CERP project-level monitoring and assessment with an eye toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the CERP monitoring program within existing resource constraints.

A third part of our charge is to illuminate issues that may impede or diminish the overall success of CERP. In the past, we have highlighted the slow rate of program implementation, the focus on the periphery rather than the center, adverse trajectories for natural system components, potential impacts of climate change, implications of invasive species, and the need for a CERP update. We believe our independent reviews have brought an important and timely focus on these critical concerns. In this review we turn our attention to the future. During the past 30 years of Everglades restoration, the past has been prologue. Understanding the past tells us what made this ecosystem unique and special, including the processes that created and sustained it, informing the restoration efforts. The original CERP plan was formulated based on a pre-drainage or early-twentieth century vision of the historical Everglades and past sea levels and rainfall and temperature distributions. But the past is not prologue for the future environment of South Florida. There is now ample evidence that rainfall and temperature distributions in South Florida are changing and compelling recent evidence that sea-level rise in South Florida is accelerating. It is clear that the Greater Everglades of 2050 and beyond will be much different from what was envisioned at the time of the CERP conceptual plan, known as the Yellow Book. These changes have profound implications for the interrelated challenges of restoring the natural system, providing flood protection, and meeting the water demands of a growing population. Everglades restoration has always been an ambitious and complex endeavor; our current review emphasizes how it is also dynamic and the importance of focusing restoration on the future Everglades, rather than on the past Everglades. We offer this report with an eye to that future and in support of that grand endeavor.

William Boggess, Chair
Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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Acronyms

AF acre-feet
ASR aquifer storage and recovery
BACI before-after control-impact
BBCW Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands
BMP best management practice
CEPP Central Everglades Planning Project
CERP Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
CESI Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative
CISRERP Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress
CROGEE Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem
C&SF Central and Southern Florida
DMDU decision making under deep uncertainty
DOI U.S. Department of the Interior
DPM Decomp(artmentalization) Physical Model
EAA Everglades Agricultural Area
EDRR early detection and rapid response
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ERTP Everglades Restoration Transition Plan
FEB flow equalization basin
FISK Fish Invasiveness Screening Kit
FY fiscal year
GCM general circulation model
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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HHD Herbert Hoover Dike
IDS Integrated Delivery Schedule
IRL-S Indian River Lagoon-South
LNWR Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
LOEM Lake Okeechobee Environment Model
LORS Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule
LTER Long-term Ecological Research
MAP monitoring and assessment plan
NASEM National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
NDVI Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
NGVD National Geodetic Vertical Datum
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPS National Park Service
NRC National Research Council
PPA project partnership agreement
ppb parts per billion
RCP representative concentration pathway
RDM robust decision making
RECOVER REstoration, COordination, and VERification
RPA reasonable and prudent alternative
RSM Regional Simulation Model
SAV submerged aquatic vegetation
SFERTF South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force
SFWMD South Florida Water Management District
SFWMM South Florida Water Management Model
SSR System Status Report
STA stormwater treatment area
TMDL total maximum daily load
USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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WAI wetland affinity index
WCA Water Conservation Area
WERP Western Everglades Restoration Project
WQBEL water quality–based effluent limit
WRDA Water Resources Development Act
WSE Water Supply and Environment
WY water year (May 1 to April 30)
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25198.
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During the past century, the Everglades, one of the world’s treasured ecosystems, has been dramatically altered by drainage and water management infrastructure that was intended to improve flood management, urban water supply, and agricultural production. The remnants of the original Everglades now compete for water with urban and agricultural interests and are impaired by contaminated runoff from these two sectors. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a joint effort launched by the state and the federal government in 2000, seeks to reverse the decline of the ecosystem. The multibillion-dollar project was originally envisioned as a 30- to 40-year effort to achieve ecological restoration by reestablishing the natural hydrologic characteristics of the Everglades, where feasible, and to create a water system that serves the needs of both the natural and the human systems of South Florida.

Over the past two years, impressive progress has been made in planning new CERP projects, and the vision for CERP water storage is now becoming clear. Construction and completion of authorized CERP projects will likely take several decades, and at this pace of restoration, it is even more imperative that agencies anticipate and design for the Everglades of the future.

This seventh biennial review assesses the progress made in meeting the goals of the CERP and provides an in-depth review of CERP monitoring, with particular emphasis on project-level monitoring and assessment. It reviews developments in research and assessment that inform restoration decision making, and identifies issues for in-depth evaluation considering new CERP program developments, policy initiatives, or improvements in scientific knowledge that have implications for restoration progress.

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