Water & Wetlands Protection

Water is central to Florida’s economic and environmental survival.

Wetlands covered more than one-half of Florida in predevelopment times. Although only about one-half of the original wetlands remain, Florida still has more wetlands than any of the other 47 conterminous United States. It also has the second largest extent of water in the conterminous United States (after Michigan), and is surrounded on three sides by the ocean. Water is the lifeblood of our state, critical to public water supply and agriculture, our tourism-based economy, and – unique to the continental United States – our subtropical and tropical flora and fauna.

The protection and restoration of Florida’s water resources is central to ELC attorneys’ practice. We have significant experience advocating and litigating under the federal Clean Water Act and state water protection laws. We work with governments and others when we can, pushing for effective implementation of laws to maximize their environmental protection potential, but are willing and able to go to court when needed.  And we have been enmeshed in the development and implementation of Everglades restoration projects under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (“CERP”) approved by way of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 since that law’s development in the late 1990s. Since the early 2000s, our dogged advocacy for CERP has sought to ensure projects comply with the law and maximize restoration progress.

Water & Wetlands News

A 2017 photo of the L-29 Canal and Tamiami Trail bridge west of Miami.

ELC Weighs in as a New Phase in Everglades Restoration Begins!

On May 15, 2023, Everglades Law Center, together with the Everglades Foundation, National Park Conservation Association, and Audubon Florida, submitted comments to the U.S. Army ...
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Photo of EAA Reservoir Groundbreaking

A Win for Everglades Restoration

On March 21, 2023, a federal district court entered an Order On Cross Motions For Summary Judgment in the Sugar Industry’s legal challenge to the ...
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Advocating for Stronger Stormwater Rules and Permits

We are at a key juncture for stormwater management in Florida and Miami-Dade County.  Current state proposals for new rules and permits could be valuable ...
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lake okeechobee loch

Better Lake Okeechobee Operations

On September 12, ELC submitted comments on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and Florida Bay Forever regarding a draft Environmental Impact Statement ...
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EAA display

Saving the Savings Clause

On September 12, ELC Filed an Amicus Curiae (or “Friend of the Court”) Brief in the Sugar Industry’s legal challenge to the Everglades Agricultural Area ...
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sewer access

Local Groups Give Miami-Dade County Stormwater Permit Compliance an Average Grade of C-

For Immediate Release Media Contacts:Rachel Silverstein, Ph.D.Executive Director & Waterkeeper, Miami Waterkeeper(305) 905-0856rachel@miamiwaterkeeper.org Elizabeth Fata CarpenterManaging Attorney, Everglades Law Center(786) 496-3309elizabeth@evergladeslaw.org LOCAL GROUPS GIVE MIAMI-DADE ...
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BBSEER Study Area

ELC Advocates for Biscayne Bay Restoration

The Biscayne Bay Southeastern Everglades Restoration (“BBSEER”) Project seeks to combine several projects originally proposed in the 1999 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (“CERP”) with a ...
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ELC Opposes Florida’s Assumption of Permitting Responsibility Under Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act

On November 2, 2020, Everglades Law Center, along with the National Parks Conservation Association and Sustainable Palm Beach County, submitted comments opposing Florida’s proposal to ...
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ELC Works to Ensure the Combined Operations Plan (“COP”) Advances Everglades Restoration

ELC – alongside and on behalf of many Everglades restoration advocates – was deeply involved in the public process developing and deciding on the “final” ...
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