JACKSONVILLE -- The Report to Congress on the progress of the restoration of America’s Everglades is now available to the public on the Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District website at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/CERP-Report-to-Congress/
The United States is implementing the restoration of America’s Everglades in partnership with the State of Florida, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, local governments and a diverse set of stakeholders. The largest component of the restoration effort is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), which Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement pursuant to the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The Secretaries of the Army and the Interior jointly submitted the report in coordination with the Tribes, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, and the State of Florida.
“With support from Congress, we have accomplished big things for America’s Everglades and our economy,” said R.D. James, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, in a letter accompanying the report. “Federal, state, local, and tribal governments, the United States Congress, the Florida Legislature, stakeholder groups, and members of the public have taken concrete, collaborative steps over the past five years to move key restoration programs and plans forward.”
The 2020 report focuses on the momentum achieved since the last report by federal, state, local, and tribal governments that partnered to move key restoration programs and plans forward, including new construction starts, project completions, accelerated planning efforts, and record-breaking levels of federal and state funding.
“The CERP and associated restoration projects are making substantial headway in restoring the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of fresh water that in turn supports the restoration and recovery of native habitats and species within the 18,000 square mile South Florida Ecosystem,” said Dr. Timothy R. Petty, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, in a letter accompanying the report.
The 144-page report provides updates on both CERP and non-CERP projects over the five-year reporting period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020, and the accomplishments expected over the next five years. This is the fourth in a series of periodic reports required under the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.
“The report is testament not just to the amount of work that has been done so far, but to the teamwork that was required to get us to this point,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. “Ecosystem restoration success is dependent upon a dedicated and collaborative effort. Our federal, state, local, and tribal partners are who built the momentum we’ve enjoyed the last five years, and together, we will continue to move CERP projects to completion in the future.”