good new for the everglades!
The final months of 2011 have brought exciting news for the future of Everglades restoration. A fully restored Everglades ecosystem will strengthen the economy and improve water quality and quality of life for people across South Florida. All of these benefits are now much closer to being realized. Recent progress includes:
Central Everglades Planning: At an October 2011 South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force meet-ing, the Army Corps of Engineers announced an expedited planning and decision-making process for the next phase of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. This new approach means essential water quality improvement and natural water storage initiatives will be completed much more quickly. The process will also include an active stakeholder participation component. Clean Water Action welcomes these changes.
C-44 Groundbreaking: Work began this October on construction of the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treat-ment Area project, another important step forward for Ever-glades Restoration. Benefits will include more natural water storage, cleaner and healthier water supply and improved wildlife habitat. Water quality improvement projects north of Lake Okeechobee will provide hundreds of construction jobs for local residents, bolstering South Florida’s economy.
Everglades Legislative Caucus: State lawmakers announced formation of a new Everglades Legislative Caucus in late November. The bipartisan group will be led by State Representative Steven Perman (D-Boca Raton) and State Senator Thad Altman (R-Viera). The Caucus will allow legislators to work together to maximize the benefits from full restoration of the Everglades. Working across party lines, the Caucus can focus on delivering real results for the region’s water quality and wildlife habitat, and for Florida’s vitally important fishing and tourism economies.