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A9. Farm Lands Water Storage for Everglades Restoration

Program for Engineering, Agriculture, Environment, Planning, Hydrology Science and other students

The Everglades faces long term threats that are both regional and global in scale. To yield lasting benefits, Everglades restoration programs must address the global challenge of producing food in a manner compatible with ecosystem protection. Given that south Florida is vulnerable to long term sea level rise and that major sources of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are land clearing and agriculture, it can be argued that if global compatibility of agricultural and ecosystems is not achieved, than Everglades restoration and the basic existence of south Florida are at risk.

EAA

Removing farms and replacing them with water storage and treatment areas may be a logical local reaction, but it does not resolve global-scale threats to the Everglades. Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farms must be redesigned to take complex environmental and economic considerations into account by balancing food production with water storage, nutrient management, soil subsidence, energy efficiency, and habitat protection.

Objective of this complex practical assignment is to explore and address the need for dramatically new EAA farming systems, the component challenges of creating innovative farms, and how to develop research programs to meet the challenges. While the Everglades restoration project can be considered local, the addressed challenges are global.


List of main tasks:

  • Study the background of Everglades restoration programs;
  • Document current farm lands water storage approaches in EAA;
  • Summarize current and planned new approaches in reports and websites;
  • Consider the EAA issues in complex environmental and economic manner and suggest additional EAA's alternate farming systems;
  • Develop a set of arguments to support your approach;
  • Quantify and document advantages and disadvantages of the newly proposed farm lands water storage relative to food production, nutrient management, soil subsidence, energy efficiency and habitat protection;
  • Summarize all your findings in comprehensive reports.

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