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The Everglades Puzzle
The latest news on efforts to restore the River of Grass
Curated by John Wark
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Maxwell: Politics shouldn't bog down Everglades progress - WaterWorld

Maxwell: Politics shouldn't bog down Everglades progress - WaterWorld | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
John Wark's insight:

Yes, Bill. But the question has always been whether there is money to pay for this plan, especially given the economy throughout the period of planning and adoption. Dedications and groundbreakings are very often window dressing, splashy assurances to the public that there's movement when there's not. Perhaps, as some have suggested, it would have been wiser to continue with the old restoration plan into which so many hundreds of millions of dollars had already been sunk? At least we'd have substantive progess to show on restoration.

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Valerie Anderson's comment, February 25, 2013 7:39 AM
the waterworld link is broken
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Rising seas mean shrinking South Florida future, experts say - Environment - MiamiHerald.com

Rising seas mean shrinking South Florida future, experts say - Environment - MiamiHerald.com | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
Under current projections, the Atlantic would swallow much of the Florida Keys and Miami-Dade in a century, according to experts at a sea-level rise summit...
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Journos: Get advance copy of biennial NRC report on CERP to be released tomorrow: evaluates CERP progress of Everglades Restoration Plan

'Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fourth Biennial Review, 2012' is a new Congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

 

Advance copies will be available to reporters only beginning at 4 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 20. THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED AND NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE BEFORE 11 A.M. EDT ON THURSDAY, JUNE 21. To obtain a copy of the report, contact the Office of News and Public Information; tel 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.

 

Report assesses progress in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a multibillion-dollar, joint federal and state effort that aims to reverse the ecosystem's decline while meeting growing demands for clean water and flood control. This is the fourth biennial evaluation of CERP, which was launched in 2000 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District.

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Palm Beach County allows wind farm at edge of Everglades

Palm Beach County allows wind farm at edge of Everglades | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
A commercial "wind farm" — the first in the state — can spring from sugar cane fields on the edge of the Everglades , despite concerns about killing endangered birds, Palm Beach County commissioners have decided.
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Conservationists think they may have found common ground with Scott on restoring growth management rules | StAugustine.com

Conservationists think they may have found common ground with Scott on restoring growth management rules | StAugustine.com | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it

CONSERVATIONISTS SEE SCOTT AS ALLY 

 

Michael Peltier of the News Service of Florida reports on the formation of the newly created Florida Conservation Coalition and what it wants from the state. 

 

"Buoyed by recent comments by Gov. Rick Scott, a new coalition of environmental groups on Tuesday called on lawmakers to restore growth management protections and resist the temptation to further consolidate control over the state's water resources," he writes.

 

The coalition, headed by former Gov. Bob Graham, did not suggest where the state might find the money to restore programs as the economy continues wobbling uncertainly and government budgets crumble.

 

And (this is not by way of faulting Mr. Peltier's otherwise excellent reporting) there is a need for additional context here.

 

For example, the same groups forming the new coalition only a few years ago successfully engineered a huge taxpayer bailout of ailing US Sugar and called it the best way to restore the Everglades -- a very expensive deal they're now obviously hoping to preserve.

 

When it comes to the water management district in South Florida's handling of this deal the coalition is decidedly hush-hush. The taxpayers are now on the hook for what was originally a $1.75 billion payment to US Sugar for land the state is not even using! US Sugar gets to continue to hold and farm it indefinitely at taxpayer expense.

 

That something-for-nothing deal left Florida taxpayers in south Florida holding the bag drew wide criticism.

 

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Water managers blast federal Everglades cleanup plan - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com

Water managers on Thursday roundly criticized a court-ordered federal plan to speed up and expand the sluggish, repeatedly delayed effort to stem the flow of pollution into the Everglades.

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Study On Benefits Of Everglades Cleanup Seen Bolstering EPA Water Rules | Everglades Ecosystem Restoration--Everglades Foundation

Study On Benefits Of Everglades Cleanup Seen Bolstering EPA Water Rules | Everglades Ecosystem Restoration--Everglades Foundation | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
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Everglades: Friends of the Everglades

Everglades: Friends of the Everglades | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
Friends of the Everglades was founded in 1969 by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a pioneer conservationist and author of The Everglades: River of Grass.
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Emma Marris: In Defense of Everglades Pythons

Emma Marris: In Defense of Everglades Pythons | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
The author of a book on human-disrupted ecology pities the Everglades' pythons.

 

Puzzle note: Emma's take on the invasive snake problem in the Everglades is practical and mature -- and deserves to be mirrored in our best thinking on all of the problems throughout the Everglades.

 

Here is what she says about the python problem:

 

"Yes, insofar as they threaten native species in the Everglades, I wish we could undo that mistake and remove them all. But it ain’t gonna happen."

 

I accept her view. And expert snake people I know have voiced similar views. Unless you're a purist and want to fight to keep the Everglades as it was at the turn of the cenury, how can you not agree?

 

I also think we benefit from exteding this attitutude toward all of the Everglades' problems. Farms and the overpopulated cities and webworks of roads and powerlines should be viewed similarly -- if you're waiting to see them all undone, "it ain't gonna happen."

 

Unfortunatley, if you pay attention to the environmental battle over restoration, purists are driving the agenda. They won't accpet "It ain"t gonna happen."

 

The result is the waste of billions of dollars and time.

 

Conservation is needed. Restoration is right. Best management practices are great. Standards are guideposts. But pay attention, cetrain special interests are out to eradicate farming north of the Everglades. This is their definition of restoration. And it is a purist's definition.

 

And that stand is simply ensuring a battle that drags on and on when there are clear, acieveable environmental goals we could be, and should have been, achieving all along.

 

The pity is that, as with the snakes, too few people at this point are being realitsic. Man has changed the ecology of the Everglades . We can bring it back, yes. But probably not all the way. Certainly, not to some mythical state of original purity. 

 

As Emma writes:

 

"Maybe I am going overboard on my “learn to love the inevitable changes” mantra. But it is really how I feel. If the choice is to fight for a pure Everglades and lose, or to work with nature as it changes and adapts to what we humans have done to planet Earth, respecting its dynamism and resilience as it shifts to new states, I vote for the latter. Just don’t call me a python hugger. That sounds painful."

 

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Letters: Feds, state back in sync on Everglades water quality

[Question to keep in mind as you read this EPA letter: The cost of the plan is $1,5 billion. In fact, that's the state committment sought by EPA. Why is EPA and SFWMD playing games and not providing the the public with lthe true costs of this plan? SFWMD's exective director, Melissa Meeker, acknowledgd to her board the cost of the plan includes another $770 million alreay invested in elements that make up this plan. What's the motive here? -- The Everglades Puzzle]

 

 Regarding the article, “EPA OKs $880 million Everglades cleanup plan”: We are all painfully familiar with the decline of the Everglades.

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Major Everglades protection deal may be close | Local News | Bradenton Herald

State and federal negotiators are on the verge of an Everglades protection accord expected to be hailed by both sides as a major milestone.
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Florida $650 Million Land Bond Faces Financial, Legal Challenge - Bloomberg

Florida’s plan to borrow $650 million to buy private land for Everglades restoration faces political and legal hurdles amid warnings that water managers can’t afford it.
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Bipartisan Coalition wants Scott to Champion More than just Everglades Restoration | Sunshine State News

Bipartisan Coalition wants Scott to Champion More than just Everglades Restoration | Sunshine State News | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it

Gov. Rick Scott has already taken a leadership role in the protection of the Florida Everglades, beyond mere statements, a spokesman said as a new bi-partisan coalition wants the governor to make conserving all of the state’s natural resources a top priority.

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Getting U.S. Sugar land ready for Glades restoration would cost millions - Sun Sentinel

A more than two-year odyssey of legal fights and political battles over buying U.S. Sugar farmland for Everglades restoration may ultimately prove easier than actually putting the land to use. The
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Two Views on Everglades cleanup: Foot-dragging over, EPA finally does its job

Two Views on Everglades cleanup: Foot-dragging over, EPA finally does its job | The Everglades Puzzle | Scoop.it
Two Views on Everglades cleanup: Foot-dragging over, EPA finally does its job Two Views on Evergl
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