The Everglades History Timeline
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1994 Everglades Forever Act is Enacted
The Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act, which directs the State of Florida to develop a phosphorus criterion for the Everglades Protection Area. The criterion numerically interprets an existing narrative standard, which states: "In no case shall nutrient concentrations of a body of water be altered so as to cause an imbalance in natural populations of aquatic flora or fauna."
Backfilling the Kissimmee River canal
1999 Kissimmee Backfilling Begins
The Army Corps of Engineers began the process of backfilling eight miles of the Kissimmee River, starting restoration efforts in the River basin. For every mile of canal that was backfilled, approximately two-miles of meandering river flow was recovered. So have bird and fish populations, an early demonstration of success for the Everglades Restoration Project.
Source: South Florida Water Management District
A water control structure for flood control and water management
2000 CERP Funding Authorized
President Clinton authorized the Water Resource Development Act of 2000, committing a multi-billion dollar budget to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Also, the Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Restoration Investment Act to fund the State's cost-share of 50 percent with the Federal Government for implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. In the same year, the Florida Legislature passed the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act (LOPA), a phased, comprehensive program designed to restore and protect the lake.
Source: Pat Lynch / SFWMD
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Credit: South Florida Water Management District
2001 Reduced Phosphorous Loads
For the fifth consecutive year, implementation of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the Everglades Agricultural Area reduced phosphorus loads by 30 percent, more than was required by rule or statute.
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2002 State-Federal Pact Made
One year ahead of schedule, President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush met in the Oval Office and made a pact that ensures adequate water will be made available to save America's Everglades. The brothers signed an agreement that will reserve water for environmental restoration under state law as a condition for receiving federal money to pay for half of the $8 billion project.
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Credit: South Florida Water Management District
2003 First CERP Project Launched
Florida began restoring a more natural flow of water to more than 50,000 acres of wetlands in the Everglades' Picayune Strand, seven years ahead of schedule. In the first construction project of the 30-year, $10.5 billion state-federal partnership to restore the famed River of Grass, workers removed 25 miles of roads and filled in seven miles of canals to begin returning an undeveloped subdivision east of Naples into the vast watery wilderness it was less than a century ago.
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Credit: South Florida Water Management District
2004 Acceler8 Launched
Florida launched Acceler8, a program designed to accelerate the restoration of the Everglades. Also, in this year, the state adopted a phosphorus criterion of 10 ppb for the entire freshwater area of the Everglades; presented the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP) to the Governor and State Legislature; and completed the first phase of a half-billion dollar plan to restore the wetlands and the natural flow of water of the Kissimmee River.
Credit: South Florida Water Management District
2005 Lake Okeechobee and Estuary Recovery (LOER) Plan
Governor Jeb Bush unveiled the Lake Okeechobee and Estuary Recovery (LOER) Plan, a comprehensive plan to accelerate restoration and recovery of the largest freshwater lake in the southeast. Also, in this year, as the first project under the Acceler8 initiative, ground was broken on a test water storage area to be used in the design of the massive Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir; and the second phase of the Kissimmee River restoration was started.
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Credit: South Florida Water Management District
2006 Acceler8 Continues
Work continued on the massive Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, which will be used to better manage water released from Lake Okeechobee and to improve the timing and quality of water delivered to the Everglades. This is one of eight projects under the Acceler8 program. Ground was broken on four of the projects during the year, including:
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