Shark Valley

Restoring the Everglades

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The Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is a multibillion dollar project authorized by Congress in the year 2000. This plan aspires to increase freshwater storage, improve water quality, and re-establish the natural water flow through the greater Everglades ecosystem. And it is likely southern Florida’s best strategy to adapt to climate change. If successful, these efforts will help protect subterranean aquifers from salt water intrusion, delay the impacts of sea level rise along the coast, and buy precious time for wildlife to adapt to their changing environment.

Senior officials riding in an air boat.

The National Park Service is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, who are managing this complex forty-year regional ecosystem restoration project.

Restoration and Sea Level Rise

See how the restoration of the Everglades will help us mitigate sea level rise.

Why Restore the Everglades?

Restoration Makes Sense

The economic benefits of this restoration effort justify its expense. A 2012 economic study reports that for every penny spent on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, our local economy will reap at least four cents.

Restoration Benefits

An ibis perched on a dormant tree amidst a vast expanse of golden wetland grasses.

Wading birds declined 90 percent after drainage canals were constructed in the 1930s. Restoring a more natural water flow means more clean water delivered to the right places at the right times of year. This is expected to restore the ecological health of the entire Everglades ecosystem; from periphyton to fish to wading birds.

A landscape of green agricultural plants in rows being watered by several large wheeled mechanized sprayers shooting water hundreds of feet.

The influx of fresh water will keep salt water at bay. These restoration efforts will help maintain the natural source of fresh water for drinking, farming and industry. We won’t need to desalinate our water, and water quality will improve!

An aerial photo of green open space adjacent roads and developments of cul-de-sacs full of houses. Water containment ponds are nearby.

Real estate values will be maintained, with the promise of a clean water source, even in the face of climate change.

Golden grasses and orange trees reflect in rippled water.

This restoration effort will protect thousands of acres of open space that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public or be developed.

An alligator crosses a paved path in front of visitors.

With more space and restored water flows, outdoor recreational activities in the Everglades will improve. As the ecosystem recovers, even more visitors will be drawn to the area.

Three fishermen aboard a powerboat, one with a large fish.

As fish populations improve within the Everglades ecosystem of south Florida, commercial and recreational fishing will benefit.

A mottled grey manatee lifts its nostrils above the greenish water surface.

Everglades restoration will result in healthier habitats that support more wildlife, like manatees, crocodiles, and birds. This makes for better wildlife viewing for all of us.