Large, complex, regional restoration programs such as that being undertaken in South Florida, must include a way for determining and communicating how well restoration goals are being met. The Task Force requested that the Science Coordination Group (SCG, a team of scientists and managers) develop a small set of system-wide ecological indicators that will help them understand in the broadest terms how the ecosystem, and key components, are responding to restoration and management activities. The goal was to develop a suite of ecological indicators composed of an elegant few that would achieve a balance among: feasibility of collecting information, sufficient and suitable information to accurately assess ecological conditions, and relevance for communicating the information in an effective, credible, and persuasive manner to decision makers.
This report is a digest of scientific findings about eleven system-wide ecological indicators in the South Florida Ecosystem. These eleven indicators have been carefully selected in order to focus our ability to assess the progress of the Everglades restoration program from a system-wide perspective by showing how key ecological components respond comprehensively to implementation of restoration projects.