Small but promising step in restoring Everglades
Published: Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.
MIAMI — Engineers say initial success on a tiny urban section of the massive Everglades restoration plan could provide important lessons for the larger project.
The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/QTlEpD ) reported Sunday a mini project at the Miami Deering Estate shows what could happen if the more than $10.5 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is ever fully funded.
The2 year-old project is a drop in the bucket, part of the larger Biscayne Bay wetland restoration, that falls within the broader restoration plan. Its cost is around $4 million.
Still engineer Jorge Jaramillo says the pace of change is impressive and shows what could be accomplished on a broader scale. In recent months, lowland sedges, sawgrass and other native plants have returned. Springs are bubbling. The trick has been pumping enough water through with submerged electrical pumps.
The Everglades restoration plan is an attempt to rebuild Florida's diverse, natural ecosystem, in which flocks of birds once soared and panthers roamed. But the Everglades also serve a practical purpose too. The so-called River of Grass acts as a natural water filter. And it provides water for millions of Americans.
Environmentalists are happy with the mini project's progress so far, but they are also frustrated the restoration is happening in such small fits and starts. They want to see fast-tracked bundled projects completed. Both chambers of Congress approved bills to help pay for restoration in Central Florida but they have yet to reconcile the proposals.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.