CERP: The Plan in Depth - Part 1
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is a framework and guide to restore, protect, and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida.
What is the plan?
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan provides a framework and guide to restore, protect, and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades. It covers 16 counties over an 18,000-square-mile area, and centers on an update of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) Project. The current C&SF Project includes 1,000 miles of canals, 720 miles of levees, and several hundred water control structures. The C&SF Project provides water supply, flood protection, water management and other benefits to south Florida. Since 1948, the C&SF Project has performed its authorized functions well. However, the project has had unintended adverse effects on the unique and diverse environment that constitutes south Florida ecosystems, including the Everglades and Florida Bay.
The Water Resources Development Acts in 1992 and 1996 provided the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the authority to re-evaluate the performance and impacts of the C&SF Project and to recommend improvements and or modifications to the project in order to restore the south Florida ecosystem and to provide for other water resource needs. The resulting Comprehensive Plan is designed to capture, store and redistribute fresh water previously lost to tide and to regulate the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water flows.
The Plan was approved in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. It includes more than 60 elements, was estimated to take at least 30 years to complete and originally estimated to cost $7.8 billion in October 1999 dollars (or at 1999 price levels).
The major Plan components are:
- Surface Water Storage Reservoirs
- Water Preserve Areas
- Management of Lake Okeechobee as an Ecological Resource
- Improved Water Deliveries to the Estuaries
- Underground Water Storage
- Treatment Wetlands
- Improved Water Deliveries to the Everglades
- Removal of Barriers to Sheetflow
- Storage of Water in Existing Quarries
- Reuse of Wastewater
- Pilot Projects
- Improved Water Conservation
- Additional Feasibility Studies