Everglades Glossary

What do all those acronyms mean, anyway? We break down the jumbles of letters that are commonly thrown into conversations about Everglades restoration here. Can you think of one that we missed? Email us at info@everglades.org to let us know.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Acre feet (of water)
A measure of water volume; one acre foot is about 326,000 gallons.


Aquifer Storage and Recovery
A water resources management technique for actively storing water underground during wet periods for recovery when needed, usually during dry periods. The timeframe can range from months to decades. The Florida Legislature passed a bill in 2021 that would more than double the number of ASR wells in the state, many of them north of Lake Okeechobee; supporters say this will limit inflows into the lake, reducing the need for discharges. Critics charge the wells are mostly about ensuring water supply to agriculture, and will divert funds that could otherwise be spent on Everglades restoration. Scientific questions remain involving water quality and how much of the water will actually be able to be retrieved.

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Biscayne Bay Southern Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Project
Project is formulating plans to restore parts of the south Florida ecosystem in freshwater wetlands of the Southern Glades and Model Lands, the coastal wetlands and subtidal areas, including mangrove and seagrass areas, of Biscayne Bay, Biscayne National Park, Manatee Bay, Card Sound and Barnes Sound. These areas have been affected by over-drainage and by damaging freshwater releases from canals, such as the C-111 Canal.


Best Management Practices
For the purposes of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Best Management Practices (BMP) program, a BMP is defined by law as a means, a practice or combination of practices determined to be the most effective and practicable means for improving water quality in agricultural and urban discharges.

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Basin Management Action Plan
A basin management action plan (BMAP) is a framework for water quality restoration that contains local and state commitments to reduce pollutant loading through current and future projects and strategies. BMAPs contain a comprehensive set of solutions, such as permit limits on wastewater facilities, urban and agricultural best management practices, and conservation programs designed to achieve pollutant reductions established by a total maximum daily load (TMDL). These broad-based plans are developed with local stakeholders and rely on local input and commitment for development and successful implementation.

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Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
Authorized by Congress in 2000, CERP provides a framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades. It’s a 50-50 federal/state partnership billed as the largest hydrologic restoration project ever undertaken in the United States. The State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District have so far invested approximately $2.3 billion in CERP-related land acquisition, project design and construction. The plan covers 16 counties over an 18,000-square-mile area and centers on an update of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) Project also known as the Restudy. The Plan was enacted into law by the U.S. Congress in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000. It includes more than 60 elements and final completion isn’t expected until 2050 at the soonest. Planning projects include the Lake Okeechobeeand the EAA reservoir.

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Central Everglades Planning Project
The goal of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) is to deliver a finalized plan, known as a Project Implementation Report (PIR), for a suite of restoration projects in the central Everglades to prepare for congressional authorization, as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The Central Everglades Planning Project will identify and plan for projects on land already in public ownership to allow more water to be directed south to the central Everglades, Everglades National Park, and Florida Bay. This study will develop the next increment of project components that focus restoration on more natural flows into and through the central and southern Everglades, restoring more natural water flow, depth, and durations into and within the Central Everglades by:

  • Increasing storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Removing canals and levees within the central Everglades.
  • Retaining water within Everglades National Park and protect urban and agricultural areas to the east from flooding.

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Cubic Feet per Second
A measurement for the flow rate of water. 1 cfs is about 7.5 gallons per second.


Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress
Since 2004, the group has provided biennial reviews of restoration progress and advice on scientific and engineering issues that may impact progress since 2004

C&SF Project

Central & Southern Florida Flood Control Project
First authorized by Congress in 1948, it was a multi-purpose project to provide 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. It involved building a network of more than 1,000 miles of canals, levees, and water control structures throughout central and south Florida


Everglades Agricultural Area
Vast farmlands south of Lake Okeechobee, most of which is used to grow sugarcane.


Environmental Impact Statement


The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services


The Florida Department of Environmental Protection


Flow Equalization Basin
A constructed storage feature used to capture and temporarily store peak stormwater flows. Water managers can move water from FEBs to Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) at steady rates to optimize STA performance and help achieve water quality improvement targets.


Harmful Algal Blooms
Primarily blue-green algae and red tide.


Indian River Lagoon

LORS 2008

Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule 2008
Current operating schedule for Lake Okeechobee followed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until replaced by LOSOM. Was designed to be a temporary schedule meant primarily to protect the Herbert Hoover Dike around the lake by lowering average water levels in the lake.


Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual


Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program


National Environmental Policy Act


Outstanding Florida Waters
A water designated worthy of special protection because of its natural attributes. This special designation is applied to certain waters and is intended to protect existing good water quality. Most OFWs are areas managed by the state or federal government as parks, including wildlife refuges, preserves, marine sanctuaries, estuarine research reserves, certain waters within state or national forests, scenic and wild rivers, or aquatic preserves.


Project Delivery Team
Term used by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to designate stakeholders involved in the LOSOM process.


Restoration Coordination and Verification
A multi-agency team of scientists, modelers, planners and resource specialists who organize and apply scientific and technical information in ways that are essential in supporting the objectives of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)


Submerged aquatic vegetation


South Florida Water Management District


Stormwater Treatment Area
The stormwater treatment areas are man-made wetlands designed to clean up nutrients primarily from surrounding agricultural areas before the runoff reaches the Everglades. Levees and canals ring the perimeter of the treatment areas. The treatment areas are divided into several cells. Some have open water with submerged aquatic vegetation, and others have very dense cattail growth. The variety provides for varying degrees of water quality treatment to maximize the cleanup.

Combined with improved farming practices, South Florida’s 52,000 acres of STAs have prevented more than 2,600 metric tons of phosphorus from entering the Everglades, reducing phosphorus loads by 70 percent since 1994. But significantly more/larger STAs are needed.

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Spotlight on STAs >>


Total Maximum Daily Load of pollutants
A TMDL is a scientific determination of the maximum amount of a given pollutant that a surface water can absorb and still meet the water quality standards that protect human health and aquatic life. Water bodies that do not meet water quality standards are identified as “impaired” for the particular pollutants of concern – nutrients, bacteria, mercury, etc. – and TMDLs must be developed, adopted and implemented to reduce those pollutants and clean up the water body.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Water Conservation Areas
South Florida’s three Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) are vast tracts of remnant Everglades marsh. Spanning approximately 864,000 acres or more than 1,350 square miles, the WCAs serve multiple water resource and environmental purposes, including flood control, water supply and habitat for South Florida’s plant and animal communities. A host of state and federal agencies, including the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, manage water resources and provide access to recreational activities such as hiking, bicycling, bird watching, fishing, hunting and airboating.

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Western Everglades Restoration Plan


Wildlife Management Area


Water Quality Based Effluent Limit
Numerical standards for pollutants such as phosphorus, designed to ensure that discharges from the STAs do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards in the Evergaldes. Part of the “Restoration Strategies” 2012 plan for STAs, the standards state the following:

  1. Shall not exceed 13 ppb as an annual flow‐weighted mean in more than 3 out of 5 water years on a rolling basis, and
  2. Shall not exceed 19 ppb as an annual flow‐weighted mean in any water year

Beginning in 2025, water cannot be discharged to the Everglades unless these standards are met.

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Water Resources Development Act
Laws enacted by Congress to deal with various aspects of water resources: environmental, structural, navigational, flood protection, hydrology, etc.