December 24, 2012


We are here, having a jolly good Florida wintertime. But where are the Everglades ? Of course, they did not move, still there – but how have we progressed on still having the Everglades ? It is in human nature at the end of the year to look back and see how we have done in the past year.
There is a great number of outstanding Everglades issues – some progressed, some have not, stuck on money and politics (turf wars, you know). When something gets done, all parties involved want to claim the credit, claim the “victory”. Why are we so insanely obsessed with the “victory” – rather than just getting things done ? No matter who claims the victory here and there, the Everglades should be the ultimate winner. We so need them – for our wellbeing, for fresh water.
There are so many things to do to preserve and restore our demolished Everglades, so many projects to carry out, so much money to invest -
While some got filled in, a number of canals are getting a facelift.
A new stretch of the Tamiami Bridge being constructed (left)
But the Tamiami Trail bridge is being constructed and that’s good. Only just how long it will actually come to we still don’t know. Hopefully, it will not end up in mid-air.

A whole stretch of the Kissimmee River was returned back to its original meandering resemblance. The surgical, frighteningly straight cut of the canal there was filled – the wound is healing and, for our and wilderness’ benefit, Mother Nature is taking over.
In watersheds of the Kissimmee and Lake Okeechobee is where water contamination problems arise from urbanization, cattle farming, agriculture, river and spring pollution, together with aquifer depletion. We hear the noises from the giants in the battlefield – the US-EPA and the FDEP. The major accomplishment is the agreement between those two turf warriors who seem to have grudgingly agreed on a compromise for water quality numerical criteria – both claiming a victory. Who cares – as long as the Clean Water Act can be upheld. Big-gun judges try to make sure of that.

Reinforcement of Hoover Dike
In the middle of Florida peninsula, Lake Okeechobee is sitting still not-so-pretty as for its contamination but with a tightened grip of Hoover Dike safely reinforced. That is crucial as a major element in flood control. Its water releases to the eastern and western sides wreak havoc on the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. So far, the surplus water has nowhere else to go. That much for that greatest ‘reservoir’.

L8 reservoir and others being constructed
Those reservoirs create quite contentious issues as they are needed for storing our seasonally uneven rain water supply and equalizing it into expanded STAs for optimized phosphorus removal.
Mentioning the P-word leads us to the heart of the problem – phosphorus contamination is the focus of so much friction and concerns in Florida ! Cleaning up that and channeling the water flow south into the Everglades still remains a major challenge. Enormous and expensive task.
And who will pay for that ?
The Florida Constitution says that at least for the EAA it should be the ‘polluters’ – but will they ?
Stand by for 2013 and farther into the mists of the future. And read more on the many Everglades problems and rumblings on – thank you for your interest and clicks.
Happy New Year to the Everglades - and to all.