The National Resources Council has been reviewing the progress of the 2000 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) every two years since 2006. As you go through these reviews, you can feel the fear and urgency in the authors’ voices as they watch the Everglades and the South Florida ecosystem slip away because of lack of funding and how slow the process is moving.
A 2015 independent review by the University of Florida states that we will need only 1.6 million acre-feet of water storage. As of the 2015 UF study, Florida has planned for just under 500,000 acre-feet of water storage. That’s not even a third, and it’s been 16 years since CERP was passed. Simultaneously, we are reaching a point past which we will not be able to reverse the ecological damage done by inaction and delay.
Florida’s legislators and the U.S. Congress must start aggressively funding the research, planning and implementation of solutions. There is no time to waste. Citizens, keep the pressure on the politicians who are in office. And vote for Florida’s environment in the primaries on Aug. 30 and in November’s general election. The cost of inaction is too great.