Everglades restoration schedule to be reviewed on Aug. 19

Posted 8/8/21

On Aug. 5, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers kicked of the discussion of the updated Integrated Delivery Schedule for 2021 with a virtual meeting.

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Everglades restoration schedule to be reviewed on Aug. 19


JACKSONVILLE -- On Aug. 5, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers kicked of the discussion of the updated Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS) for 2021 with a virtual meeting.

The IDS is the timeline for the 68 projects that make up the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

“IDS is a critical thing that we update once a year,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District. “It is used in a whole bunch of different ways depending on your perspective.

“It’s a strategic implementation roadmap. It tells us how we get the Everglades restoration done,” he explained.

IDS also includes the resources needed to keep on the path, and explains, aside from the construction, how does the system work, he continued.

He said the IDS is changed each year, based on what has happened the in previous year.

Jennifer Reynolds of the South Florida Water Management District said the IDS discussion this year is also a celebration of the progress made.

“It’s an opportunity for us to all celebrate the momentum that is going on with Everglades restoration,” said Reynolds.

She said the projects are making a difference for south Florida.

The next step is an overview and listening session with stakeholders on Aug. 19.
The working draft of the IDS 2021 update will be released on Sept. 29.
The final release of the 2021 IDS update will be on Oct. 28.

The Everglades restoration effort covers 18,000 square miles and involves hundreds of projects being implemented by federal, state, Tribal and local governments, explained Eva B. Velez, Strategic Program Manager at US Army Corps of Engineers.

She said the Central & South Florida (C&SF) Project canals, pumps and structures that provided flood protection, water supply and recreation for the people of South Florida had unintended consequences to the environment.

“What we’re doing is making modifications to that by adding infrastructure or making changes to the way we operate the infrastructure,” she explained.

CERP was authorized by Congress as a framework for many components that all fit together, she continued. The Aug. 19 meeting will review the timeline for the CERP projects.

When Congress authorized CERP in 2000, the document (called the “yellow book” because the original document had a yellow cover), it was projected to be completed over 35 years. At the time, it assumed funding at the federal level and at the state level of $200 million every year.

“Overtime there have been many reasons things changed a little bit,” she continued.

She said the schedule was designed so that components that work together are completed in the correct order to do so.

“It’s important to think about how things fit together, how they sequence so when you build one thing, the next thing that can be teed up can fit with it and leverage those benefits,” she said.

The IDS is a roadmap, a strategic plan and a “10 year look ahead” of what will be designed, what is under construction, what is in the ground and what is ready to start construction to build upon the progress.

“It helps us understand where we are going, and where we have been. It gives us a snapshot in time,” said Velez.

“Everglades restoration is a partnership,” she said. “It’s a 50-50 partnership with federal and state funding.” She said it does not mean the state and federal government each contribute half of the funding for each feature. She said through fiscal year 2019, the state had invested $1.67 billion and federal government had inveted $1.4 billion in CERP.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes the lead on some projects and SFWMD takes the lead on others, she continued.

The Integrated Delivery Schedule 101, 68 Components Overview and Stakeholder Listening Session will be Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 at 9 a.m. online  Here Meeting number (access code): 199 289 7043
Meeting password: IDS101_2021saj

Join by phone at:

• 1-844-800-2712 or
• 1-669-234-1177.

To join from a video system or application, dial 1992897043@usace1.webex.com

You can also dial and enter the meeting number.

For more information online, go to https://www.evergladesrestoration.gov/.