FCE LTER Journal Articles


The Synthesis of Everglades Restoration and Ecosystem Services (SERES): a case study for interactive knowledge exchange to guide Everglades restoration


Despite substantial investments in large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts, scientific information to inform restoration decision-making is often lacking. This gap between science and practice has been attributed to a number of factors, including the inherent complexity of environmental challenges, financial considerations, as well as a lack of communication between scientists, practitioners, and the public. Restoration of the Everglades (Florida, U.S.A.) is a multi-billion dollar state-federal partnership that entails restoring the flow of clean freshwater from Lake Okeechobee to the remnant Everglades, while ensuring flood protection and water supply for millions of people. We describe the role of a boundary organization, The Everglades Foundation, in coordinating, synthesizing, and communicating science related to the restoration of the Florida Everglades. Through the SERES (Synthesis of Everglades Restoration and Ecosystem Services) project, The Everglades Foundation established a credible team of scientific experts to address ecosystem responses to a suite of restoration scenarios, involving varying degrees of water storage and decompartmentalization. To ensure relevance of synthesis products, managers and practitioners from key agencies and organizations were consulted from the outset to understand the science management questions that were stalling on-the-ground action. Project results were conveyed in multiple formats to appeal to policymakers, practitioners, and scientists. For nonscientists, outcomes of four restoration scenarios on numerous ecosystem elements were compared to the base condition using sophisticated and accessible graphics and a nontechnical writing style. For scientists, additional information was made available through white papers, presentations, and peer-reviewed manuscripts explaining the science behind the syntheses, presented within this issue.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DEB-1237517, #DBI-0620409, and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



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