Jacksonville District leads the way in ecosystem restoration, adaptive management and interagency approaches to planning and analysis. A proud member of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, the district leads one of the most aggressive environmental restoration programs in the world. A major component, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), provides a framework for the restoration, protection and preservation of a vast area of central and south Florida’s ecosystems, including America’s Everglades. It is the Corps’ single largest ecosystem restoration effort.
The Jacksonville District also administers the largest Regulatory program in the Corps, which protects waters of the United States, including federally delineated wetlands and navigable waters. We evaluate impacts from navigation and flood damage reduction projects as well as projects involving the discharge of dredge and fill materials to areas under our jurisdiction. In Florida and Puerto Rico, our work with other federal and state agencies helped launch many cooperative watershed and ecosystem management plans and programs to minimize wetland impacts and restore natural areas. Protecting these resources guarantees their availability for future generations.
On behalf of the Department of Defense, the Corps manages the Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Used Defense Sites. Under this program, Jacksonville District is responsible for restoring sites impacted by past Department of Defense activities. Our projects in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ensure that these sites are returned to safe and productive use through the removal of unexploded munitions, chemical warfare materiel and/or hazardous and toxic waste.
Jacksonville District is a member of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, to lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef resources. The task force is co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and the Interior and includes leaders of 12 federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories, and three freely associated states. It develops national strategies, initiatives and partnerships to strengthen protection of coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Our Regulatory Division represents the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on the task force and working group. Jacksonville District has performed coral reef restoration work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Structures such as navigation locks, flood spillway gates and culverts contribute to manatee injuries and deaths, second only to boat and barge collisions. The Corps is an active partner, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal, state and local agencies, in providing an environment in which the Florida subspecies of the West Indian Manatee is assured safety and recovery in our waterways. The manatee, a gentle, slow-moving marine mammal, has been on the endangered species list since 1967. Our locks now incorporate sensors that detect the presence of manatees and provide for their safety.