GEER 2010
Greater Everglades
Ecosystem Restoration

The Greater Everglades: A Living Laboratory of Change

Planning, Policy and Science Meeting

July 12-16, 2010 ● Naples, FL


GEER 2010
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GEER 2010
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Author/Photographer Joel M. Curzon will be attending and signing books at GEER 2010
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Introduction to GEER
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The Greater Everglades is an interlinked chain of natural and human ecosystems from the Kissimmee River at the top through Lake Okeechobee, the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries to the east and the Caloosahatchee Estuary to the west, southward to the Everglades and Florida Bay, with the Keys and Dry Tortugas at the bottom; and, from Biscayne Bay and other coastal systems on the east to Big Cypress, Ten Thousand Islands and other coastal systems on the west.

The Greater Everglades comprises more than one and a half million acres of natural landscape – or roughly 10,800 square miles spanning the southern third of Florida. It is a complex ecosystem, and as we move into the next decade “Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges”, it is more critical than ever that we reinforce the significant linkage between Planning, Policy and Science towards implementing sustainable restoration of Florida’s Greater Everglades”. 

In fact, as we more closely examine Florida’s ever-changing Greater Everglades landscape, we see a model living laboratory for assessing and predicting change.

Resource Challenge

The Florida Everglades is a complex ecosystem. Once spanning four million acres, the Everglades have shrunk to half that amount. Ecosystem decline began with draining wetlands for irrigation channels.

Hurricane-related flooding in the 1920s accelerated drainage projects, culminating in the Congressionally-authorized Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Flood Control Project in 1948, which further fragmented the Everglades.

During the past two decades, the Florida Legislature and Congress have enacted several laws and programs aimed at restoring the Greater Everglades ecosystem. In 2000, the U.S. Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), expected to be implemented over the next four decades.

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Hence, the theme for the GEER 2010 Conference, “The Greater Everglades: A Living Laboratory of Change”.

That change comes in many forms . . . Degradation Change, Restoration Change, Human Influence Change, Threatened and Endangered Species Change, Invasive Species Change, Nutrients-Contaminants Change, Climate Change, Change in Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazard Change. All of these “Changes” are actively impacting the Greater Everglades. It is imperative we understand change so we can predict change (Science), that we integrate the ‘Science of change’ into Planning for the future; and, that we use Science and Planning to help us move forward with effective Policy for a sustainable future.

GEER 2010 provides a valuable forum for restoration practitioners to do just that, and gives private, public and tribal decision makers, engineers, planners, resource managers, and scientists, an opportunity to share their knowledge and challenges concerning restoration of this national treasure – the Greater Everglades. We encourage you to participate in this important endeavor and be part of the dialogue.

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