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Central Everglades Planning Project

decorative image: CEPP posterThe goal of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) is to deliver a finalized plan, known as a Project Implementation Report (PIR), for a suite of restoration projects in the central Everglades to prepare for congressional authorization, as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The Central Everglades Planning Project will identify and plan for projects on land already in public ownership to allow more water to be directed south to the central Everglades, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay. Public participation is a major component of this planning effort. The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s Working Group sponsored a number of public workshops to receive input from the public, and keep them informed and engaged as active participants.

BACKGROUND

In October 2011, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), the Secretary of the Interior, the Governor of Florida, the Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District, and other senior principals agreed to initiate the planning effort of the CERP Central Everglades components. Due to the desire to expeditiously complete the study, the Central Everglades Planning Project is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Pilot Program for Feasibility Studies.

CEPP incorporates updated science and technical information gained over the last decade to identify a recommended plan and prepare a PIR for congressional authorization of the next generation of CERP projects. The pilot planning study process uses clearly defined decision points to make the process more predictable and more efficient, while reducing the current planning study process timeline.

This study will develop the next increment of project components that focus restoration on more natural flows into and through the central and southern Everglades, restoring more natural water flow, depth, and durations into and within the Central Everglades by:

  • Increasing storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Removing canals and levees within the central Everglades.
  • Retaining water within Everglades National Park and protect urban and agricultural areas to the east from flooding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is leading this planning effort in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The SFWMD is fully integrated in the technical planning process and is leading modeling efforts for the study.

Project Status

Record of Decision Signed - Aug. 31, 2015

On Aug. 31, 2015, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy signed the Record of Decision for the Central Everglades Planning Project, signifying the completion of the final administrative review for the ecosystem restoration project’s report. With administrative review now complete, the report will be transmitted to Congress for authorization and subsequent appropriations.


Chief of Engineer's Report Signed - Dec. 23, 2014

On Dec. 23, 2014, the Chief of Engineer’s Report, or Chief’s Report, for CEPP was signed by Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE Commander and Chief of Engineers. The CEPP report will undergo additional review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and the Office of Management & Budget. It will be formally transmitted to Congress upon completion of those reviews. The Corps prepared the CEPP planning document using a pilot process designed to reduce the overall time allocated for a study of this magnitude. In prior years, plan formulation and review may have taken six years or longer. The CEPP process was completed in half that time.

Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

904-232-1766

Project Manager
South Florida Water Management District

561-682-6088