Photo taken by Wilfred Hdez
In keeping with the conference theme, Restoration in Action, NCER 2016 is being held in Coral Springs, Florida, which lies within the historical footprint of the Florida Everglades. For the past 30 years, State, Federal and Tribal partners have worked jointly on restoration of this unique ecosystem, as well as its headwaters in the adjacent Kissimmee River basin. Today, efforts to return the Kissimmee River basin to its natural state are seen as one of the most successful examples of large-scale ecosystem restoration in the world. With major restoration projects undertaken in the Everglades, south Florida provides one of the best locations to see real-world tangible examples of large-scale ecosystem restoration program benefits. The Kissimmee River and Florida Everglades ecosystem is designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and specially protected areas under the Cartagena Treaty. This unique and unparalleled system is home to numerous rare and endemic species and provides vital ecosystem services to south Florida’s 7 million residents and 35 million tourists that visit the region each year.