Everglades Restored!, Mark Renz 1-239-368-3252

It's official: The Everglades has been restored!

A look ahead by Mark Renz

February 1, 2062, Wetlands News

It's official. While the Everglades may never be restored to its original pristine condition, everyone agrees that it's been well resurrected, considering what this vast wetland has been through.

Back in 2012, members of the Everglades Coalition were still trying to get past issues of mistrust, costs and scope of the decades-old restoration effort. The breakthrough came when members and other players unanimously consented to the following plan:

– To help pay most of the costs, practical water-use taxes would be applied to all Floridians and visitors. Anyone who used water, for any and all purposes, would pay the tax. Those who enjoyed our coastal beaches or swam or fished in salt or fresh water also paid the tax.

– Large desalination platforms and pumps would be set up off-shore to pipe in additional freshwater to critical regions that would help cities, farmers and the Everglades.

– Every canal in the lower half of Florida, no matter how small, would be mapped and a massive grid set up to make the best use of flow for cities, farmers and the Everglades.

– Sheet flow would be greatly improved by insuring there were as few large blockages as possible. (U.S. 41 and I-75 would eventually be nick-named “cheesy” highways because of all the north/south holes and pipes installed under them).

– Phosphorous run-off and other fertilizers would be “tamed” thanks to time-released enzymes which change their chemical properties once crops are grown.

– Politicians from both major parties, as well as environmentalists and agricultural businesses, would promise to find ways to include everyone's interests in their long term plans. They agreed to allow unbiased arbitrators to settle any and all disputes without lengthy delays.

The success of the Everglades restoration project is being hailed as a model worthy of global applications in other environmental challenges.