Washington DC, October 31, 2017 – Just past the midway point in the long-term Everglades restoration program, The Everglades Foundation has published a new paper in the journal Restoration Ecology to help make years of Everglades research results more accessible to the public. The article, “The Synthesis of Everglades Restoration and Ecosystem Services (SERES): a case study for interactive knowledge exchange to guide Everglades restoration,” is part of a special issue of the journal Restoration Ecology that includes nine articles addressing a variety of research into the effectiveness of the Everglades restoration program.
“Engaging the Everglades management community from the outset, and using the latest science and modeling tools, were the keys to the SERES project’s success,” said Dr. Melodie Naja, chief scientist of The Everglades Foundation.
Working alongside scientists, economists, and graphic designers, The Everglades Foundation created graphics and fact sheets that show the importance of the Everglades restoration program, and highlights its complexities.
Since the early 1900s, nearly 50 percent of the water has been drained from the Everglades, drastically deteriorating the landscape and quality of life for both people and wildlife. As one of the largest restoration projects in the world, the program is expected to cost more than $15 billion and take over 30 years. It will also create more than 442,000 jobs over 50 years, according to a USGS report.
“This monumental effort to restore the famous ‘River of Grass’ – home to many rare species and a bulwark against hurricane impacts – is critical in a time of rapid climate change. This special issue of Restoration Ecology is a welcome and important step for reflecting on large-scale ecological restoration efforts and what comes next,” said Restoration Ecology Editor-in-Chief Stephen Murphy.
Along with the SERES report, this special issue of Restoration Ecology compiles recent studies that investigate how the Everglades will respond to restoration efforts—from the famous “tree islands,” to wading birds, to the salinity of Florida bay. A restored Everglades would provide clean water, revitalize the fishing industry, and boost tourism.
“Restoring the Everglades makes economic and ecological sense, but understanding how and why can be difficult,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “SERES helps translate technical information for easy use by policy makers, water managers, the media and the public. And having such readily available information about what’s working and not working can help improve future Everglades restoration investments.”
Restoration Ecology is the bi-monthly scientific and technical peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Ecological Restoration. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., the journal fosters the exchange of ideas among the many disciplines within ecological restoration. Addressing global concerns and communicating them to the international research community and restoration practitioners, Restoration Ecology is at the forefront of a vital new direction in science, ecology, policy and management.
Russell Pike, Everglades Foundation, 305-251-0001, rpike (at) evergladesfoundation dot org
Rebecca Shoer, Society for Ecological Restoration, 202-299-9518, rebecca (at) ser dot org