Expert Report

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

This report is the first in a congressionally mandated series of biennial evaluations of the progress being made by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a multibillion-dollar effort to restore historical water flows to the Everglades and return the ecosystem closer to its natural state, before it was transformed by drainage and by urban and agricultural development. The Restoration plan, which was launched in 1999 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, includes more than 40 major projects that are expected to be completed over the next three decades. The report finds that progress has been made in developing the scientific basis and management structures needed to support a massive effort to restore the Florida Everglades ecosystem. However, some important projects have been delayed due to several factors including budgetary restrictions and a project planning process that that can be stalled by unresolved scientific uncertainties. The report outlines an alternative approach that can help the initiative move forward even as it resolves remaining scientific uncertainties. The report calls for a boost in the rate of federal spending if the restoration of Everglades National Park and other projects are to be completed on schedule.