Irreversibility and sustainability: Attempts to save the Florida everglades

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© Common Ground, Andrew Schmitz, Lynn Kennedy, Julie Hill-Gabriel, All Rights Reserved. This paper provides an overview of the programs and legal issues surrounding the continuing attempt to restore the Everglades in the U.S. state of Florida. In spite of the many projects designed to achieve this goal, questions remain as to their effectiveness. For example, even though the buyout of U.S. Sugar lands involved 26,000 acres, as of 2014, less than half of this land has been used for Everglades restoration. We broaden the benefit-cost framework used to evaluate the effectiveness of the various projects by discussing irreversibility and sustainability. In this context, there is no single indicator to gauge whether or not the environment in the Everglades is improving. Even worse, it is possible that the Everglades continue to deteriorate in the presence of various restoration programs.

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International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability

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