The South Florida Water Management District decided Thursday morning to OK an Everglades restoration project it designed.
Since 2011, the District has been working to develop a $1.9 billion plan to put some circulation back into the heart of the Everglades.
"It is going to require removing lot of things that have been put in," says Randy Smith, a representative for the Water District. "[It will require] creating new water-flow projects and water storage projects. The landscape is going to more closely resemble what it was originally."
May was an eventful -- and most would likely say hopeful -- month for the beleaguered Everglades. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law new legislation that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade to fund Everglades restoration and cleanup.
When the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was approved in 2000, it was a historic move to "restore, protect and preserve" water resources in central and south Florida. The 30-year framework was designed with the ultimate goal of restoring historic water-flows to a "dying ecosystem." Project leaders and scientists are now focused on incorporating climate change adaptation into the plans and acknowledging that the Everglades will likely never look the way it once did.
State officials, local dignitaries, and conservationalists gathered last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The plan took more than two decades to achieve and is part of a larger effort to restore fresh water flow to the Everglades.