Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Everglades Victory

Source: NPS
Last week the Sierra Club and its allies scored a major victory when state water managers decided to move forward on a plan to restore water flow across Florida’s state-owned Everglades. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board unanimously voted to share the cost of the Federal Government’s plan to remove two key canals and degrade a third that block water flow leading to Everglades National Park.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan known as the Central Everglades Planning Project (or CEPP) is a suite of critical, but never-authorized, projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (or CERP) of 2000.

Sierra Club members and supporters submitted more than 200 emails to Governing Board members and 10 spoke at the public hearing. In all, more than 30 speakers supported CEPP. None opposed.

But the fight is not over. Congress still needs to include CEPP in the Corps’ latest funding bill, and still not settled are important water quality issues between the Federal Government and the State of Florida. The Courts are closely eyeing the amount of Phosphorus from sugar, cattle and municipal waste allowed in various parts of the Everglades. Who will be forced to clean it up and to what extent is where the next battle lies.

-- Jonathan Ullman, Sierra Club South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizer

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