Everglades Timeline

The Everglades Today (1983- )


everglades timeline





The Save Our Rivers program established by Florida Governor Bob Graham recognized that the entire ecosystem needed to be restored, not just parts of it; the State initiated the Kissimee River Restoration Project.


Florida's Warren Henderson Act gave authority to the State Department of Environmental Regulation (now DEP) to protect wetlands and surface water of the state for public interest.


The Everglades was designated a Wetland of International Importance on June 4.


The Florida legislature passed the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Act, creating the first cleanup plan for the Everglades. The Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management Act (SWIM) required the five Florida water management districts to develop plans to clean up and preserve Florida lakes, bays, estuaries, and rivers.


In August, the federal government filed a lawsuit against South Florida Management District for polluting the Everglades with excessive phosphorus.


Construction began on the Everglades Nutrient Removal (ENR) Project, the first manmade wetland to remove phosphorus.


On December 13, President Bush signed into law the Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-229), authorizing the addition of 107,000 acres of the east Everglades to the park. The Act also directed the Corps "to construct modifications to the Central and Southern Florida Project to improve water deliveries into the park and shall, to the extent practicable, take steps to restore the natural hydrological conditions within the park."


The sugarcane industry in the northern Everglades encompassed approximately 450,000 acres.


The Florida Preservation 2000 Act established a coordinated land acquisition program to protect the integrity of ecological systems and to provide multiple benefits, including the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, recreation space, and water recharge areas.


Florida's Everglades Protection Act provided water management districts with clear tools for ecosystem restoration.


The Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree, entered into by the federal government, the state of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District, established interim and long-term total phosphorus concentration limits for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park.


Settlement agreement (consent decree, 847 F. Supp 1567 (S.D. Fla 1992)) set out in detail the steps the State of Florida would take over the next ten years to restore and preserve water quality in the Everglades.


Hurricane Andrew blasted southern Dade County causing heavy damage to the Everglades region and to National Park Service structures.


The federal Water Resources Development Act authorized certain restoration activities, including the establishment of an interagency South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The latter was charged to coordinate federal restoration activities. The Act was expanded in 1996 to enable the Taskforce to include tribal state and local governments.


Congress authorized the 'Restudy' to review the Everglades water management system.


The Water Resources Development Act of 1992 & 1996 authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the current C&SF Flood Control Project and develop a comprehensive plan to restore and preserve south Florida's ecosystem, enhance water supply and maintain flood protection.


The Florida Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act, calling for the restoration and protection of the Everglades. Part of the law mandated construction of Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) to improve water quality in the Everglades.The sugar industry agreed to pay $320 million over 20 years with taxpayers expected to pay the rest.


The Everglades Nutrient Removal Project began operation and was quickly considered a huge success, removing 112,000 pounds of phosphorus in its first three years of operation.


The South Florida Water Management District purchased over 5,000 acres of the Frog Pond, east of Everglades National Park's main entrance, to restore a more natural flow of water to Taylor Slough.


Construction of the first of six Stormwater Treatment Areas to clean up the Everglades is completed and construction begun on three others. Landowners in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reduce the phosphorus amount leaving the basin by a long-term average of 51% due to improved practices called Best Management Practices (BMPs), also a component of the Everglades Forever Act.


Marjory Stoneman Douglas died at the age of 108.


The Everglades C&SF Restudy report finalized, recommending a 30+ year restoration plan and a multibillion dollar budget for the comprehensive restoration of south Florida's ecosystem.


President Clinton authorized the Water Resource Development Act of 2000, committing a multibillion dollar budget to comprehensive Everglades restoration. Florida's Governor Jeb Bush signs the Everglades Investment Act, committing the state to 50% of Everglades restoration costs.


On November 3, U. S. Congress passed Restoring the Everglades, an American Legacy (REAL) Act (S. 2797), authorizing and initiating funding for the $7.8 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Miami-Dade County decided not to fight to build an airport near the Everglades and Biscayne Bay national parks, thanks to aggressive protests by environmental groups and the public.


On January 9, President George Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed an agreement providing for Everglades restoration at a cost of $7.8 billion. The cost will be shared by the federal and state government.



Timeline prepared by Gail Clement, University Librarian, Florida International University

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