The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Shannon Andrea, Media Relations Director, P: 202-365-5912
Sara Fain, National Co-Chair, Everglades Coalition, P: 305-546-6689

Everglades Coalition Releases Its 2020 Vision for Everglades Restoration


At its 25th Annual Conference, the Everglades Coalition today
released its 2020 vision for Everglades restoration. Elected officials,
environmental groups, and community leaders gathered to discuss the
Changing Face of Everglades Restoration, and develop solutions for the
next ten years of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

"As state and federal partners and the environmental community
gather to celebrate a year of change, we must work together to ensure
the next decade of restoration puts us well on our way to a restored
Everglades," said Sara Fain, National Co-Chair of the Everglades
Coalition and Everglades Restoration Program Manager for the National
Parks Conservation Association.

Over the last year, the Everglades has finally received significant
federal funding, ground has been broken on two key projects--Tamiami
Trail and Picayune Strand--and the State of Florida's planning for the
River of Grass Initiative has moved into its second phase. As we enter
the second decade of restoration, the Coalition says it is time to
fully fund and build critical projects, and set an example for the

"This is an exciting time in restoration, but we can't stop now,"
said Mark Perry, State Co-chair of the Everglades Coalition and
Executive Director of the Florida Oceanographic Society. "As the
Everglades continues to decline, we believe our list of priorities for
2020 is key to turning restoration around.

Highlights from the Everglades Coalition 2020 Vision for Everglades Restoration include:

1. The U.S. Congress and the Florida State Legislature must fund key
restoration projects. Adequately fund the Indian River Lagoon, Picayune
Strand, Site One Impoundment, and Modified Water Deliveries projects
and other critical projects and programs in FY2011 with $305 million,
which will result in critical on-the-ground benefits throughout the
ecosystem. Ensure the state of Florida continues its financial support
for restoration at or above previous funding levels.

2. Congress must authorize four key restoration projects in the 2010
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Four projects that must be
authorized in WRDA include the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands, C-111
Spreader Canal phase 1, C-43 Reservoir, and the Broward County Water
Preserve Area.

3. The State of Florida must, upon closing its first deal with U.S.
Sugar Corporation this summer, immediately announce the commencement of
a restoration project on the newly-acquired lands and begin
negotiations to act on its option to acquire the remaining 100,000+
acres. This unprecedented opportunity to fix long-standing shortcomings
in restoration projects and our ability to meet the region's water
supply, ecosystem restoration, and flood protection demands must be
seized for the benefit of all Floridians.

4. Everglades Coalition 2020 Vision for restoration provides
detailed recommendations to successfully move restoration towards
completion. Building on the Coalition's Priorities for 2010, the 2020
Vision will provide direction for local, state, and federal officials
as they proceed forward with restoration planning and projects, as well
as decisions that may impact restoration goals.

"For more than a quarter of a century, the Everglades Coalition has
dedicated its efforts to protecting and restoring our River of Grass,"
said John Marshall of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, this year's
conference host. "We are delighted to host this year's conference, as
Palm Beach County must be a full partner in Everglades restoration for
the benefit of the entire ecosystem and our community."

"If we are successful here over the next decade, we will set an
example for all other ecosystem restoration initiatives nationally and
internally," said Mark Perry. "With the establishment of the Great
Waters Coalition to create a united agenda to benefit all ecosystems,
we must strive for the Everglades to serve as a model to follow."

Joining the Coalition for its 25th anniversary conference, keynote
speakers include U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, former U.S. Senator and
Florida Governor Bob Graham, Thomas Strickland, Assistant Secretary of
the Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Director Sam Hamilton. Sessions focus on topics such as growth
management, political and public partnerships, endangered and invasive
species, wildlife habitat, energy policies, and water quality.

The Everglades Coalition annual conference is the largest annual
forum for Everglades conservation and restoration, bringing together
the Coalition's 53 allied organizations with local, state, and federal
partners. Senators, members of Congress, and political figures come to
discuss their positions, pledge their support and offer challenges to
the community.

To view the Coalition's 2020 Vision for the Everglades Restoration, visit:

NPCA is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.