The Everglades is an immense ecosystem that once covered about 3,000,000 acres in Florida. Originally, the hydrology of the area was such that a shallow sheet of water flowed through sawgrass and nourished wetlands. In 1948, the government began to drain the wet areas, erected levies, and dug canals in order to clear room for agriculture and cities. This alteration controlled flooding and created land usable by humans but unfortunately had a number of negative side effects including the destruction of over 50% of the original Everglades, increased freshwater runoff into the ocean, and decreased water quality.
In 2000, Congress approved the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) that provides funding for alterations to existing structures and the addition of new structures (reservoirs, channels, etc.) that attempt to recreate the effect of the original water flow. This is the largest ecological restoration project of its kind in the world. The restoration is expected to take 30 years and cost more than $20 Billion. This restoration will positively impact the Everglades, the oceanic ecosystems, and the community.
Partner has been awarded a multi-year contract from the South Florida Water Management District (District) to perform Environmental Risk Assessment Services. Partner will be providing pre-purchase environmental site assessments to be conducted on properties proposed for acquisition by the District. Typical land acquisitions range in size from 5-50,000 acres of mostly historic agricultural uses. These properties will be converted into water resources projects (reservoirs, stormwater treatment areas, flow equalization basins, and restored wetlands).
Partner will support the District’s land acquisition with environmental site assessments, environmental management, and risk-based ecological assessments. Partner will also support remediation and construction activities as the District converts the properties from previous land use.
The Partner team is thrilled to be supporting such a beneficial program.