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America’s Everglades is an area twice the size of New Jersey comprised of a multifaceted mixture of dense forests and open prairies, sunny croplands and shady swamps, rural expanses and dynamic cities; and the source of water for 8.1 million residents. Unique and threatened, the Everglades is the focus of a restoration partnership between the federal government and the State of Florida. The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) Program consists of a suite of projects that focus on the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) system of canals, levees, and other water management features. The single largest of these efforts is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Authorized by Congress in 2000, the CERP focuses on “getting the water right” in the South Florida Ecosystem—getting the right amount of water of the right quality to the right places at the right time. Implementing projects that capture, store, clean, and redistribute water will restore natural water flow, enhance and protect habitats, and improve our ability to retain and utilize much needed fresh water within the ecosystem, instead of having to drain this precious resource to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. How are we accomplishing these goals? By reconfiguring the water management infrastructure of an 18,000 square mile region. We plan, design, construct, and operate CERP and other restoration projects to reverse the damage the current water management system has inadvertently caused the Everglades, while continuing to serve the millions of people who reside within and visit the region. Since 2000, subsequent water resource development acts have authorized specific projects within CERP. These subsequent authorizations are often referred to by “Generation” with Generation 1 projects having been authorized in 2007 and Generation 2 projects in 2014. Generation 1 projects include Picayune Strand Restoration, the Site 1 Impoundment, and the Indian River Lagoon-South C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. Generation 2 projects include Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Phase I, the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project, the C-43 Western Basin Storage Reservoir, and the Broward County Water Preserve Areas. In 2016, the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was authorized. CEPP combines several CERP components extending from Lake Okeechobee down to Everglades National Park into a comprehensive project that includes water storage, water quality treatment, conveyance, and decompartmentalization (the removal of levees and canals) in the heart of the Everglades. Currently, several planning initiatives are underway for the next phases of CERP. These include the Western Everglades Restoration Project, the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project, and the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Project. Another major effort within the C&SF system concerns the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD), a 143-mile earthen dam that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The rehabilitation project reduces impacts from flooding as a result of high lake levels for a large area of south Florida. Since 2001, the Corps has made a significant investment, over $870 million, in projects designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of the aging structure. For additional background information on the South Florida Everglades Restoration Program, visit: US Army Corps of Engineers Ecosystem Restoration

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