Recently, Senator Joe Negron proposed as part of his goal-set as incoming Senate President the purchase of lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee. The idea of a reservoir is not a new one, but is certainly an idea whose “time has come.” To have the Present of the Senate supporting this idea is unprecedented!
As we move forward, it is important to know that this concept has been “on the books” since the beginning of Everglades restoration and is doable. We have all been really fighting for land since 2013, but the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan took shape in 2000. Unfortunately is not taking shape very quickly as it is caught in the tar-pits of government and can’t seem to break free.
So now we the state must take leadership.
The chart I want to share with you– in case you are unfamilar —so you can see the “tar-pit”— has a confusing name.
It is called the “Integrated Delivery Schedule” or (IDS).
But what does that mean?
The Army Corp of Engineers “IDS” as seen above, in many colors, is like a goal sheet, but because there are so many moving parts going on simultaneously and they because they are dependent on each other, the chart is multi-dimensional rather than just “one, two, three.” Nonetheless, the projects are “in order”…just think of it as a “list of things to do” from top to bottom…as the money comes in and the ACOE tries to get things done between politicians and stakeholders fighting.
OK to stick on point, I want to call attention to the bottom of the sheet. Third from the bottom in white you will notice a line that reads: “EAA Storage & ASR/Decomp Ph2.”
EAA storage is referring to water storage for Lake Okeechobee in the EAA; ASR is an entire other subject–like deep injection wells in the aquifer to store and retrieve water. Obviously the two concept were seen to work together.
It is all very complicated and I will write more about it in the coming months, but Senator Negron’s proposal has the potential to put the EAA reservoir higher up on the list, save the St Luice River/Indian River Lagoon, promote faster Everglades Restoration and pull us out of the tar-pits.
I for one am very thankful to Senator Negron, and I plan on pulling this Mammoth out by his tusks! 🙂
Here are some insightful links on the subject.
1. “Florida Audubon 2016: The Role of the EAA in Everglades Restoration Storing water in the EAA is one of the central components of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The EAA Reservoir project in CERP sought to hold water from Lake Okeechobee and farm runoff in the wet season and release this water south in the dry season. A er leaving the reservoir, freshwater would move through the network of man-made filter marshes called Stormwater Treatment Areas to remove phosphorus and other nutrients that are harmful to the plants and wildlife before continuing its path through the Central Everglades, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay. Although an initial plan for the EAA Reservoir project was developed, the project was not constructed. The original location on for the project is now being used for two shallow water storage structures known as Flow Equalization on Basins (FEB). One FEB is part of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) project while another is part of the State of Florida’s Restora on Strategies plan required to meet water quality standards. These are important projects, but as recognized in the CEPP plan, the EAA Reservoir project is s ll necessary to achieve the goals of restoration on.1 There is an urgent need for state and federal agencies to come together to plan for water storage in the EAA.”
2. Everglades Restoration (http://www.evergladesrestoration.gov/content/cepp/meetings/012512/Recap_EAA_Reservoirs.pdf)
3. AWRA Conference 2002, EAA Reservoir: (http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/33/32652.pdf)
ACOE EIS: https://books.google.com/books?id=1Do0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PP5&lpg=PP5&dq=EAA+reservoir+abstract&source=bl&ots=Dzbx9WhjvA&sig=2zyM1N1nfIgv1f9xtitaztXQFIw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj98s7S9MrOAhWEPB4KHRVIB44Q6AEIPTAF#v=onepage&q=EAA%20reservoir%20abstract&f=false
ACOE Integrated Delivery Schedule http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Portals/44/docs/Environmental/IDS/IDS_PLACEMAT_Revised_February2016_web.pdf