April 2022 Newsletter
A Closer Look #224
Caption: Members of the National Academy of Sciences committee, as well as representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and South Florida Water Management District before a tour of an STA. Steinman is second from the left in the top row.
Director Reviewing Everglades Restoration Progress for a National Academy of Sciences Committee
Al Steinman, AWRI’s Director, was appointed last March to a 2-year term as a member of the Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress. Steinman has been working with 11 other committee members from throughout the country on their evaluation of restoration progress in this iconic south Florida ecosystem. He recently returned from a site visit in Florida. Al was assigned two focal areas: 1) evaluating the new Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule, which is designed to better balance the demands for water among the utilities, agricultural community, northern estuaries, and the lake itself, and 2) the effectiveness of the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), which cover ~53,000 acres and treat the nutrient-rich runoff water from the Everglades Agricultural Area and Lake Okeechobee before reaching the Everglades. Lawsuits have dictated that by 2027, total phosphorus concentrations, which are often 100 to 200 µg/L entering the STAs, must be no higher than 13 µg/L when exiting the STAs. The committee findings will be presented to the US Congress next year, and published as a book by the National Academy of Sciences.