Attend Corps' Everglades Restoration Updates This Week
From the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:
Interested in the latest updates in the Everglades Restoration Planning Process? On Monday, December 10, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bringing the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) to Estero and the public is invited to attend, ask questions and make comments on the plan alternatives. The meeting will provide an overview of the alternatives being evaluated in Phase I to move water through the southern Everglades. The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites, 10450 Corkscrew Commons Drive, Estero, FL 33928, from 6:30 to 9 pm.
The plan needs to promote the Everglades Restoration vision which includes bridging Tamiami Trail, de-compartmentalizing Water Conservation Areas 3 (WCA-3A, WCA-3B), and Northeast Shark River Slough in Everglades National Park. We (SCCF) believe that Alternative 4 is the best alternative for the environment, and here are some of the talking points we would like to have the public emphasize:
Alternative 4 best protects the Sheet flow & ridge and slough topography -- the most defining characteristics of Everglades restoration. Re-establishing them should be a top priority of CEPP. In addition this alternative, unlike others, does not create human health and safety issues.
Alternative 4 represents a real step toward de-compartmentalizing the highly engineered and partitioned system – the rest of the alternatives are operational and do nothing to restore the historic flow pattern in the Everglades.
Restoring the natural flow path of the Everglades as proposed inAlternative 4 will reduce soil oxidation and loss, will restore degraded ridge-and-slough habitat, and will provide for a more natural recession of water across the Everglades landscape.
A flow-way such as that proposed in Alternative 4, will increase biological connectivity providing an open corridor for fish and wildlife to move freely across boundaries in search of seasonal refuge.
If you miss the meeting on Monday additional meetings will be held in Homestead, Clewiston and Stuart at the dates and locations below.
12/11/12 CEPP Alternative Road Show 6:30-9pm – Homestead (John Campbell Agricultural Center)
12/12/12 CEPP Alternative Road Show 6:30-9pm - Clewiston (John Boy Auditorium)
12/13/12 CEPP Alternative Road Show 6:30-9pm – Stuart (Susan Johnson Auditorium)
The General schedule is for a Tentatively Selected Plan to be developed by January 2013. Public comment on the plan will begin in April 2013. A final report and Environmental Impact Statement is expected by September 2013, initiating public comment on the final plan. A Chief’s report is expected by December 2013, making the project eligible for a WRDA bill by October 2014.