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World Heritage Convention

Decision 25 BUR V.60-61
Everglades National Park (USA)

V.60       The Bureau was informed that the State Party has provided a detailed report on the state of conservation of this site, updating actions taken during the first half of 2001. The salient features of the report are: 

  • Structural modifications and acquisition of key lands judged necessary for restoration on the periphery of the Park are progressing in a satisfactory manner and are facilitating the flow of an increasing volume of water through the slough into north-east Florida Bay. Since 1994, south Florida has in general experienced wetter weather conditions resulting in reduced salinity and algal blooms and this trend suggests that the restoration of water flow through the Park could result in the effective restoration of the ecological balance of the whole of the Florida Bay. However, past dry season cycles and delayed onset of rains have produced some of the driest conditions in south Florida and have required water use restrictions. The duration of these dry conditions and their impacts on Florida Bay are not yet known. Learning and assessment of impacts of increased water flow on the ecology of the Park is also likely to be a long-term process;
  • US Army of Corps of Engineers have completed environmental review processes and signed the Record of Decision to address impacts of increased flooding in an 8.5 square mile area of residential and agricultural property east of the Park’s eastern boundary. The Decision is a compromise among all stakeholders, including various Federal agencies and balances the Congressionally mandated environmental restoration goals of the Modified Water Deliveries Project, while minimizing the flooding impacts on the residents and agricultural interests in the 8.5 square-mile area. The Congress has provided US$ 62 million for meeting the current year costs of the Record of Decision;
  • On 3 November 2000, the Congress passed by an overwhelming margin, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as part of the Water Resources Development Act. It was signed into law on 11 December 2000, as Public Law 106-541. The conceptual plan is estimated to cost US$ 7.8 billion and will require 36 years to complete. An initial US$ 1.4 billion has been authorised in the law to implement four pilot technology projects concerned with water storage, including aquifer storage and recovery, in-ground reservoirs, canal seepage management and wastewater reuse and eleven other initial projects. Reports to the Congress are due every 5 years; an independent scientific peer review process is required under the law and water quality remains a concern throughout all stages of the plan;
  • On 4 June 2001, President Bush visited the Park and confirmed continued support for CERP, and announced that his Administration will request US$ 219 million, i.e. US$ 58 million more than the previous fiscal year, for the year beginning from 1 October 2001 to 30 September 2002. This funding increase, if approved, will bring almost 50 additional science and technology staff to actively participate in design and implementation of the various CERP projects and ensure that the interests of the South Florida National Park Services are given full consideration;
  • As of May 2001, 93% of the authorized land acquisition foreseen for the expansion of the Park has either been completed or is underway;
  • Special efforts for the conservation of the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow are continuing and an analysis of this years field surveys, that would provide an indication of the success of conservation actions implemented in the year 2000, will be ready for submission to the Committee session;

V.61       The Bureau thanked the Government of the United States of America for the comprehensive report submitted and the human and technical resources reserved for the implementation of the CERP. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to undertake a detailed review of the report and discuss with the State Party future steps for the consideration of the Committee with regard to the monitoring of the state of conservation of the Everglades and the possible timing of the removal of the Everglades from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau recommended that the Centre, IUCN and the State Party submit a progress report on the outcome of the full review of the report and the associated discussions to the December 2001 session of the Committee in Finland.

Decision Code
25 BUR V.60-61
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2001 Everglades National Park
Context of Decision