A key component of CERP
The heart of Everglades restoration is reconnecting Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades so ample water can be stored, get cleansed and released to flow south again into the Everglades and Florida Bay.
As called for in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the Everglades needs an above-ground reservoir directly south of Lake Okeechobee located in the 500,000 acres of sugar cane fields that make up the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). This Everglades reservoir is the most important project we can construct and implement to significantly reduce the amount of freshwater that is currently being discharged east and west.
The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir
Everglades Trust supports the 200-plus Everglades scientists who believe that increased storage, treatment, and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries; to restore the flow of clean, freshwater to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys; to improve the health of Lake Okeechobee; and to protect the drinking water for 8 million Floridians living in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The critical dollars to build these project are available from both the federal government and the state of Florida. Everglades restoration is funded annually by the United States Congress via direct appropriation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior.
But for years, Florida has not consistently received the levels of federal funding necessary to ensure Everglades Restoration is successful. Finally, due to the tireless work of activists, citizens and politicians alike, Congress enacted $200M for Everglades restoration in the 2019 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Using these funds and Amendment 1 funds, we must expedite construction of the reservoir south of the lake without delay, before development in the EAA or other uncertainties condemn our waters to irrevocable destruction. Read more here.