everglades restoration news

(The winner of the 2020 “Python Bowl” gets a truck.). Twenty years ago this month President Bill Clinton signed into law a plan to save the Florida Everglades. Knowing all that, I wasn’t so bothered by the legendary Everglades mosquitoes that came out with the spectacular sunset (“You can set your watch to that,” locals say). He picks up clients barefoot — in a 12-person Ford van in the parking lot of a fruit stand outside Homestead city limits. These islands are historical hide-outs for pirates, hermits and criminals. News Everglades Restoration Takes Three Big Steps Forward. The USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Program provides science to support management and restoration of America’s Everglades. The mysterious cypress domes also tower above the grass, but they thrive just a few feet closer to sea level, or even in holes in the limestone below sea level. Garl — as he prefers to be known — grew up in Michigan, went south several decades ago, doffed his shoes, walked into the swamp, and never looked back — or put his shoes back on for work. We’re in a dead zone now.” As he spoke, a full moon rose behind us and roseate spoonbills sailed in V-formation across pink cumulus clouds fading into periwinkle to the west. Humboldt never visited the Everglades, but it is surely one of the best places on earth to observe nature’s complex harmony up close. Critics Say The State Isn't Equipped To Do The Job. An American Crocodile basks in the sun at Flamingo, the southernmost point in the Everglades National Park. Work is now underway on a better way to move water into the parched Everglades. So have the birds. The South Florida Water Management District started construction in 2014 on an Everglades restoration reservoir, which is called the Everglades Agricultural Area … “The grass stays. For years, whenever I found myself in Miami with an afternoon to spare, I sneaked off west to where a road abruptly separates the urban grid from the Everglades. Getting into and out of these domes can be a nerve-pricking enterprise, not for the faint of heart. Florida Bay has not recovered from a great sea grass die-off in 2015 because of unusual salinity caused by the man-made diversion of fresh water away from the bay. Every few feet of elevation produces a discrete ecosystem with its own animals and plants that are not only adapted to but maintain the systems as well. The cypress domes are worth the challenge. “There are no other Everglades in the world. FWF Challenges Water Management District Sugar Leases There are success stories. At night, only their eyes glitter in the beam of a flashlight. Pot-smuggling on local boats was so common here through the 1980s that locals nicknamed the illicit cargo “square grouper.” Today, sport fishermen ply the waters for boasting rights to the Grand Slam — hooking one each of a redfish, snook, tarpon, trout and spotted sea trout in a single day. The Palm Beach Post. We took kayaks and a skiff out into a maze of mangrove and shallow salt water called the Ten Thousand Islands, on Florida’s southwest edge. Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Copyright 2020 WMFE. Over the last year, with different family members as companions, I made several visits deeper into the Everglades than I’d ever been. What We Mean When We Talk About Everglades Restoration March 21, 2017 There’s a lot of attention - and a lot of money - going towards restoring the Everglades. DRAINAGE and FIRE! The pepper is so endemic that the park service is mulching it and sequestering it in small mountains visible from above as bright green squares throughout the backcountry. But the ecosystem today is half the size it was before development. Twenty years on, a few of the … We have got to be more careful with the earth.” Her cousin Carrie LoBasso agreed: “When I told all my friends I slogged through a swamp, traveled with a python, and went hunting for ‘alligator eyes’ in the dark night, most of them called me crazy. I am not alone. Here … Lots of them. I am here to attest that it is possible for a non-Floridian to get acclimated to alligators. Two big sugar companies now control 500,000 acres; today, more than eight million people also depend upon the glades for their drinking water. Florida Gov. Depending on time, I drove as deep into the saw grass void as I could, parked, got out and gazed up at tropical clouds racing unimpeded by tree or building. Most of the old pine woods are paved over with towns and apartment complexes and strip malls whose names — Pine Crest, Pine Heights, Pines — refer to what was there. As the legislative session gets started in Tallahassee this… As salt water breaches the limestone bedrock around the Florida peninsula and enters the aquifer, this natural freshwater wonder is threatened like never before. At least one river, the Kissimmee, straightened by the Army Corps of Engineers to benefit the northern farms, has been returned to its natural bed. "Funding for Everglades restoration, South Florida ecosystem restoration, our waterways funding as a whole." The Victorian taste for big hats with plumage led to near extinction of the Everglades’ snowy egrets and other wading birds, with more than five million birds killed annually by 1900. Get weekly updates from our Travel Dispatch newsletter, with tips on traveling smarter, destination coverage and photos from all over the world. Florida’s freshwater wonder is threatened like never before with a rising sea level as restoration efforts lag. It is overrun by invasive plants and animals. Today it remains one of the biggest  environmental restoration efforts in the world, but even with a price tag that will be around $17 Billion when it’s all finished, the project remains underfunded and behind schedule. From afar and in the water, these dinosaur relics resemble half-submerged junked tires. Slightly lower are the hardwood hammocks, just a few feet elevation above the river of grass but still in it. The Everglades formed 5,000 years ago. Sky and grass. Nina Burleigh is a journalist and the author, most recently, of “Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women,” due out in paperback later this year. The highest elevations in the Everglades are called pine rockland, and they are considered endangered habitat. “Here we were again very forcibly impressed with the terrible destruction which is returning Florida to its primitive geological condition, namely a barren desert. But There's A Fix: More Water, Federal Judge Orders Army Corps To Study Toxic Algae In Lake O Releases, Florida Wants To Control Wetlands Permitting. “It’s all gone. The C-43 Reservoir will be a large water basin that will collect water that is released from Lake Okeechobee and purify it before it … “Sneaky, she’s around here somewhere.” “I saw Croc-zilla out here last week.” He is encyclopedic on the flora, pointing out plants like the lemon bacopa that the Calusa and Tequesta tribes used as mosquito repellent, and the saltwort, a pale green crunchy plant great as a snack or in a salad. Quick fix for Lake O algae woes uses land now roamed by cows. Twenty years ago, the original Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan envisioned more than 300 underground aquifer storage recovery (ASR) wells north of Lake Okeechobee. Saw grass at sunset in the Everglades National Park.Credit...Erik Freeland for The New York Times. Kayaking at sunset in the Florida Bay, the Everglades National Park. Governor, Please Veto Two Bad Bills May 14, 2019. The two processes are tending to eliminate all the native life from the state. Read: Massive Everglades restoration project in Picayune Strand more than two thirds complete Both projects, which are still in the planning stages, should be … But it is profoundly imperiled by pollution, human schemes to drain and control it, animal and plant invasives and sea level rise. Researchers chip male pythons and track them to the nests of huge mother snakes, removing hundreds of eggs. He has silly nicknames for the monsters he claims lurk near his walks. FIU experts are available to discuss the … On this episode of Intersection, we do a deep dive into the Everglades with Amy Green as she explains the reporting that went into the podcast, Drained, which was produced in partnership with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Everglades Restoration is making headway as several large projects are underway including the C-43 Reservoir along the Caloosahatchee River. For 175 years, the drive to control the flow of water was planned, plotted and executed with devastating results for the native inhabitants — flora, fauna and human. In a series of trips to South Florida in the last year, I explored the interior of the River of Grass, the only subtropical wilderness in North America, plunging into microclimates and diminishing habitats, traversing slices of the Everglades National Park and its adjacent neighbor, Big Cypress National Preserve, by car, kayak, foot and even looking down from a small plane. Anti-plumage campaigns at the turn of the 20th century stopped that. Naples Daily News. I’ve traveled far but never found a place where the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man are so palpable in one place. It once covered most of the peninsula of Florida, from Lake Okeechobee (the 10th largest fresh water lake in the United States) down to Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. As of 2015, in the Everglades, 60 plants were listed as endangered. But it does. Roseate Spoonbills in Big Cypress National Preserve. One, visible as a hump of trees from the main park road, is so cinematic on the inside that it is named “The Movie Dome.” It is a set-designer’s idea of a storybook tropical paradise: sunlight shafting in, white branches festooned with proliferations of flowering epiphytes or air flowers, including rare orchids like the ghost orchid, plumed birds beating their wings so close you can feel the air move, all of it mirrored and doubled in crystal water around our knees. sometimes pulling ourselves through dense mangrove tunnels with our hands. 07/21/18. 1520 includes a record-setting $250 million in funding to restore the Everglades. Yet after almost two weeks I still barely scratched around the edges of more than a million acres of wetlands with nearly 300 species of fish and about 360 bird species and more than 700 kinds of plants. Paddling in Florida Bay one night at twilight, Garl trailed his hand in the warm salty water and pulled up some gray muck, let it drip back into the murk. Kirby Storter Roadside Park in Big Cypress National Preserve. That’s the headline of a report released Wednesday by a Congressionally-appointed committee of scientists. Everglades restoration has its own language of acronyms that abbreviate the various processes, places and projects, like CERP, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project. It’s a huge milestone in the restoration of the Everglades. As they pricked away at exposed skin and whined in my ears, I took it as proof that, for now anyway, the threatened glades biome lives on. Good news on the Everglades restoration front. The Everglades is recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the world's most unique natural and cultural resources. An American alligator on the shore of the Turner River in Big Cypress National Preserve. Alligators were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1960s but surged back after restrictions. I know by the way eyes fill with tears when people get to talking about the glades. In a promising development, Congress just authorized $200 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Everglades restoration. Funding has been secured to raise the Tamiami Trail, reroute water into Shark River Slough and mitigate damage near the Taylor Slough. Everglades restoration needs to do more to account for climate change. Even a large mama-gator surrounded by about a dozen babies, sprawled lazily by the cycling path at the National Park’s Shark Valley, as groups of tourists five feet away recorded the family on their iPhones. 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During the dry season, from December through April (when most tourists visit the glades because it is virtually bug-free), these stands of swamp cypress rise, leafless and bone white above the grass, visible for miles. Learn more about the Everglades’ restoration. Worse, as sea levels rise around Florida, increased salinity on the edges of the Everglades is killing the saw grass, setting off a cycle of damage to the sediment, allowing even more salty water farther inland. CBS News The Everglades is the largest wetland of its kind in North America, but it's been under assault for generations by residential development, water … The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir water reservation regulations, the completion of the S-333N water control structure, and the award of a contract for construction on the L-67A levee will improve water flow in the River of Grass. Tears for the Magnificent and Shrinking Everglades, a ‘River of Grass’. “To me it’s just a fascinating thing and I just want to learn everything I can about it.”. If doubt remains that Eden and the Fall coexist here, consider that the name of the author who extolled the wonders of this paradise is affixed to a school — the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — forever associated with the 2018 school massacre that left 17 people dead. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas wrote in her 1947 book, “The Everglades: River of Grass.” “The spears prick upward, tender green, glass green, bright green, darker green, to spread the blossoms and the fine seeds like brown lace,” she wrote. Distant rain over the saw grass in the Everglades National Park. The state’s top Republican leaders — including Gov. To see more, visit WMFE. On Dec. 11, 2020 it’ll be 20 years since Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan to restore, protect and preserve South Florida’s ecosystem while providing for water-related needs of the region. Filed Under: Everglades Restoration, Local TV, Miami News, Tamiami Trail MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida’s efforts to restore the Everglades received a … Ron DeSantis headed off an attempt to kill the reservoir planned for south of Lake Okeechobee and President Trump signed a … They wiped out 99 percent of the marsh rabbit and the raccoons, decimated the otters and are now setting their sights on the birds. Viewed from above, they are teardrop shaped, narrow at the top and bulging at the bottom, marking the shape of the water flowing in and around the holes. Martha Calloway of San Antonio was touring the Everglades for a day while her husband fished in Key Largo. Where it’s not diverted or blocked by human engineering, the water still trickles south at the rate of a quarter mile a day, as it has for millenniums. What’s gone is gone, and what’s still there is threatened by invasives like the cattails and the ornamental plant Brazilian pepper that leapt from people’s manicured gardens and into the Everglades. “We know what the consequences of inaction are, because we’ve already experienced it: polluted waterways, toxic algae, sea grass die-off, continued habitat loss, and even threats to imperiled species,” said Stephen Davis, a foundation scientist. In just two days, we saw two giants caught by the roadside in the area, and heard tell of a third. All of New Jersey could have fit into the pre-drainage Everglades. “When I first came down, this water was clear, and I used to dip my hand in here and pull up a handful of sand and sea grass and find dozens of baby clams and tiny living shells,” he said. Like everything in Everglades restoration, which aims to re-establish the natural flow of water through the unique ecosystem after decades of draining and canal-cutting, BBSEER has lofty goals. It is the only place where both alligators and crocodiles coexist. The Everglades were designated a national park in 1947, the same year that its most ardent fan, the environmentalist Douglas, published her book. She describes the Everglades as ‘beautiful but confounding.”. In 2000, the state and federal government agreed to a $4 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. SOUTH FLORIDA — Founding leaders of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan initiated a monumental project 20 years ago by gaining national recognition of the need for more freshwater to reach the southern portion of the Everglades and Florida Bay. WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green has spent some 10 years looking into the progress- and this year she produced a podcast to explore some of the details behind this mind bogglingly complex plan to restore the River of Grass. The long-awaited stimulus package approved by Congress Monday night includes $250 million for Everglades restoration. All Florida shores have also been plagued by a series of deadly red tides caused by fertilizer and other pollutants. Twenty years on, a few of the major infrastructure projects have been built, but most are still on the drawing board, awaiting money. Florida Bay has not recovered from a great sea grass die-off in 2015. Alligators were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1960s but surged back after restrictions. In 2000, the state and federal government agreed to a $4 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. An 8.5 square-mile community in South Florida has stymied Everglades restoration for years by blocking water flow to parched areas at the tip of the state, but new plans ranging in … Without Everglades restoration, Florida’s tourism-based economy is at risk.”. “Restoring the Everglades by improving water infrastructure, movement, quality and timing is a top priority.” The Water Subcabinet and Task Force spent the week on the landscape to firsthand see the work being done and exploring ways to improve partnerships for effective implementation of the CERP. A project designed to improve water flows south to Everglades National Park is underway following a groundbreaking ceremony among federal and state officials on Oct. 21 in western Miami-Dade County. I also thought about the animal life that we weren’t going to see because of the invasive species problem, and that humans are the worst invasive species of all. The state sponsors annual python-killing competitions. Sections of Tamiami Trail — the main east-west road connecting Miami and Naples — are being turned into bridges to allow water to flow back into the sloughs to the south, bringing back native vegetation for the first time in a century. She said the slog was the high point of the day. Along with the plants, the Burmese python is an unwelcome invader, probably introduced into the habitat first by pet owners when they got too big to keep in the condos. Environmental groups and state water managers are sparring over land for an Everglades restoration project to help with Florida’s algae blooms, following… Listen • 1:30 News The snakes grow to tremendous length and weights — 15-foot 90 pounders have been found. Tears for the Magnificent and Shrinking Everglades, a ‘River of Grass’ Florida’s freshwater wonder is threatened like never before with a rising sea level as restoration efforts lag. 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