Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)

In the 1940s, the Army Corps of Engineers created a system of canals and levees to protect South Florida from flooding during hurricane season. However, altering the water flow in the Everglades system created problems that were not recognized until nearly four decades later. The canals actually deprive the Everglades of its lifeblood — water. As a result, approximately 1.7 billion gallons of water per day are released to the ocean and Gulf to keep South Florida dry.

Everglades Forever Act A plan to replumb the water flow and delivery system in South Florida, called the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), was approved by Congress on November 3, 2000 and signed by President Clinton on December 11, 2000. The CERP, a series of environmental improvements over 30 years with an estimated cost of $10.5 billion, is the most ambitious ecosystem restoration ever undertaken in the world.

The CERP’s fundamental goal is to capture most of the fresh water that now flows to the ocean and Gulf and deliver it when and where it is needed most. Eighty percent of this “new” water will be devoted to environmental restoration, reviving the ecosystem from the Kissimmee River, through Lake Okeechobee, through Everglades National Park, to Florida Bay and the coral reefs. The remaining 20 percent will benefit cities and farmers, enhancing water supplies and supporting a strong, sustainable economy for South Florida, well into the 21st Century.

CERP Accomplishments

Useful Links
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (Official website)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District – Everglades Division
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
South Florida Water Management District – America’s Everglades