After 24 years of litigation, U.S. District Judge Alan Gold has given the okay to an $880 million plan to improve Everglades’s water quality. The federal approval came just over a week after the latest plan was submitted by the South Florida Water Management District, the lead state agency on Everglades’s restoration efforts.
This key water source for millions of South Florida residents have been damaged by the intrusion of farms and developments. Dikes, dams and canals have been cut, effectively draining much of the swamp and polluting it with fertilizers and urban runoff.
The plan is to create five stormwater treatment areas covering 57,000 acres in an effort to filter phosphorous, which comes from fertilizer and promotes the growth of unhealthy vegetation that choke native plants.
State funding and the actual construction remain significant hurdles.