Everglades restoration stagnating after five years

Restoration of the Florida Everglades is, well, a bit bogged down, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers internal memo. Written by Everglades project manager Gary Hardesty, the memo was addressed to Army Corps colleagues preparing to write a five-year update on the 30-year restoration plans. Hardesty noted that the undertaking was over budget, behind schedule, slowed by paper pushing, and facing negativity from the Hill. “We haven’t built a single project during the first five years,” the memo states. April Gromnicki of Audubon Everglades says the memo’s frankness is an indication that the Army Corps will produce an “honest assessment of the current state of Everglades restoration.” But others worry that the memo’s admissions about ballooning costs — including a $1 billion price increase for the first four projects — and questions about the project’s science could simply give critics additional impetus to siphon money away from the already pricey venture.