Statement Re: Report by Committee On Independent Scientific Review Of Everglades Restoration Progress
December 15, 2016
"Ongoing review of the science in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) by the Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress is welcomed. In fact, CERP efforts include and incorporate the latest science and modeling information as plans are developed and projects are implemented. However, the Committee's conclusion strays from science and adopts a recommendation that future CERP projects should stop in order to reassess the whole program. This is irresponsible and represents mission creep by the Committee. With competing legislative priorities and a dedicated funding source in place through Legacy Florida, such a recommendation undermines the remarkable progress being made. Federal partners and affected parties should reject any reassessment to CERP that will regress into wholly avoidable delays and distractions. The Committee's recommendation is saturated in self-interest. It solely benefits the Committee's agenda to order more studies, when South Florida is in need of serious action. The Integrated Delivery Schedule is the answer. Success is measured by progress and getting projects in the ground. Restoration partners should avoid wavering from a plan that was vetted through a process with significant public participation. Those holding up a trophy from this latest announcement should be reminded that contrary to their beliefs, the Committee's presentation calls for a pause on ALL future storage planning options both North and South of Lake Okeechobee until further analysis can be done."