Florida’s Everglades: How we made a difference

Florida’s Everglades are the largest designated wilderness in the Southeast.  Moreover, with one in seven Floridians relying on these wetlands for fresh water, there is a critical need to protect its unique character.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a 30-year, $9.5 billion framework to restore and protect the Everglades’ 18,000+-square miles.  CERP’s goal involves redirecting fresh water now flowing into the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.  Most of that water is channeled toward environmental restoration.  The remainder benefits cities and farmers throughout South Florida.

The modern history of the Everglades is told in an excellent book, River of Interests: Water Management in South Florida and the Everglades. Authored by Matthew C. Godfrey and Theodore Catton, this book was commissioned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2004 and originally published in 2008.

The book earned widespread acclaim for its scholarship.  Col. Alfred Pantano, Jr., U.S. Army District Commander, wrote:

River of Interests is the best book I’ve found to date to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the Everglades’ story and journey in a factual, clear and candid manner.

This summer, the Corps of Engineers published an updated version of River of Interests.  The book offers a dispassionate look at the ongoing impact of CERP programs since 2000.  You can download the book free at the CERP website (evergladesplan.org) or by clicking here.

Many Dawson & Associates senior staff members have been directly involved with the Everglades, none more so than Bob Dawson himself.  As the book notes, his involvement in the Everglades dates back to the late 1990s.

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