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The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project,[1] which was first authorized by Congress in 1948, is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control, water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses, prevention of saltwater intrusion, water supply for Everglades National Park, and protection of fish and wildlife resources. The primary system includes about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of levees, 720 miles (1,160 km) of canals, and almost 200 water control structures. The C&SF Project has performed its authorized functions well, however, the project has had unintended adverse effects on the unique and diverse environment that constitutes south Florida ecosystems, including the Everglades and Florida Bay.

The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)[2] provides a framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades. It covers 16 counties over an 18,000-square-mile (47,000 km2) area and centers on an update of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) Project also known as the Restudy. The State of Florida (via the South Florida Water Management District) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are undertaking various projects under CERP to help ensure the proper quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of waters to the Everglades and all of South Florida.

The Plan was approved in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000. It includes more than 60 elements, will take more than 30 years to construct, and was originally estimated to cost $7.8 billion.

The goal of CERP is to capture fresh water that now flows unused to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and redirect it to areas that need it most. The majority of the water will be devoted to environmental restoration, reviving a dying ecosystem. The remaining water will benefit cities and farmers by enhancing water supplies for the south Florida economy.

Numerous lawsuits affecting Everglades restoration are pending before the courts.

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