JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Significant progress has been made in restoring America’s Everglades over the past five years and a comprehensive report highlighting these efforts has recently been submitted to Congress.
The 2015 Report to Congress for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was jointly submitted to Congress last week by the secretaries of the Army and the Interior. The report details the collaborative effort of participating agencies and their combined commitment to restore America’s Everglades.
“Progress is being made towards achieving the benefits for the natural system and the human environment envisioned in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP),” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “The next five years hold the promise of even more tangible, beneficial change in the south Florida ecosystem and we look forward to continuing progress with the Department of the Interior, the State of Florida, and our other partners.”
Over the past five years, collaborative restoration efforts between federal and state agencies has resulted in a period of unprecedented progress towards restoring America’s Everglades. New construction starts, project completions, accelerated planning efforts, new investments in water quality and the passage of key congressional legislation are a few of the highlights of the 2010-2015 reporting period.
"This Report to Congress on the status of our efforts to restore the Everglades demonstrates Interior's continuing commitment to work with its State, Tribal, local government and NGO partners to take action to restore this unique and fragile landscape,” said Michael J. Bean, Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and chair of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. “We are seeing significant progress and observing on-the-ground results for our environment. And we know that our investments are promoting economic benefits and coastal resiliency in the face of sea level rise and other challenges which will allow us to achieve, in our life-time our long-standing restoration goals."
This is the third CERP report prepared for Congress and is required by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The report covers implementation progress between mid- 2010 and mid-2015 as well as activities planned for the next five years.
“Momentum remains strong in our continued efforts to restore America’s Everglades,” said Col. Jason Kirk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander. “In close collaboration with our State of Florida and federal partners, our Army Corps team is making great progress in the restoration of this National treasure. We’re breaking ground on new components, completing components currently under construction, and planning for future increments of restoration.”
During this reporting period, major construction milestones were achieved. Construction on restoration projects and additional components began, including the Indian River Lagoon-South C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area project and the Picayune Strand Restoration Project’s Faka Union Pump Station. CERP projects were also completed during this timeframe, including the State-expedited C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project and the Melaleuca Eradication and Other Exotic Plants Research Annex, the first CERP project to be completed and transferred.
The CERP is the largest environmental program in history. Upon congressional authorization in 2000, the federal government and the state of Florida entered into a 50/50 partnership to restore, protect and preserve water resources in central and southern Florida. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is the lead state agency in this effort.
For additional information, and to view the 2015 CERP Report to Congress, visit: http://bit.ly/2015_CERP_RTC
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Release no. 16-024