James Madison Institute
Solving the Everglades Riddle Addressing Water Quality and Quantity to Restore a Florida Legacy

Daniel Peterson | Jul 12, 2016 | Backgrounder

What singular policy issue has lingered in Florida, despite having been discussed for decades, hotly debated in multiple legislative sessions, and subject to expensive lobbying efforts? What issue has induced emotional pleas, received billions of dollars to spend on planning and projects, and continues to be a costly and complex effort?

If you answered, “Restoring the Everglades” you win the prize. For decades, one of Florida’s top environmental challenges has been the restoration of the Everglades. Scientists have studied it, legislators have debated it, state, federal, and local governments have wrangled over funding it, and environmentalists have focused in on it. 

In 2014, voters approved Amendment 1 dedicating one-third of doc stamp revenue for the next 20 years “to acquire, restore, improve and manage conservation lands…including the Everglades.” This action brought new visibility to statewide environmental needs as well as further debate to the issue of Everglades restoration. In order to more fully understand and appreciate the complexities of restoring the Everglades today, it is imperative to take a brief look back in time for a helpful perspective.

Read our latest Backgrounder on Everglades restoration.