FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 24 (UPI) — Decades-long restoration efforts in Florida’s Everglades remain slow and may bring “trade-offs” between water quality and water quantity, a federal report says.
A report by the National Research Council found tangible but slow progress during the past two years in efforts to restore the Everglades, suffering from decades of draining and pollution as farms and development spread across former wetlands, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.
Cleaning up water pollution while also providing the amount of water the Everglades needs is a growing challenge that still must be addressed, the federal report said.
Since 2000, state and federal officials have been following a restoration plan based on protecting what remains of the Everglades while trying to address South Florida’s long-term water supply and flood control needs.
The plan calls for the state and federal governments to share the cost of building a variety of reservoirs, storm water treatment areas and other projects expected to take at least 20 years to build.
Environmental advocates said the report was an endorsement of recent Everglades successes but also a call to do more.
“It’s no secret that Florida’s water quality problems have been choking the life blood out of the Everglades for some time now,” Everglades Foundation CEO Kirk Fordham said. “This report should emphasize the need for the state to move forward aggressively on curtailing water pollution in the Everglades.”
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