This year, Earth Day in the south blocks is a very different story. It’s an environmental success story with a variety of subplots. The Picayune Strand Restoration Project, the first component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to begin construction, is well under way. Though the project is not yet complete, benefits are already being observed. Groundwater levels have improved and vegetation is recruiting naturally in an orderly succession. Wildlife continues to use the area, traveling long-used trails and open areas, including a bridge across one of the canals near the Merritt Pump Station, even during the construction phase.