Thrust Areas Ecosystem Water Institute Classification Level
Water, Land Use and Ecosystems Water and Climate Water and Society Water Resources Sustainability Springs Wetlands Watersheds Aquifers Lakes Coastal Zone  Water Institute Classification 1  Water Institute Classification 2  Water Institute Classification 3  Water Institute Classification 4

Water and phosphorus retention for the Florida Ranchland Environmental Services Project
Goals and Objectives
Over the past several decades, multibillion dollar state and federal initiatives - such as the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP) and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan - have been launched to restore the watershed. These programs use public funds to buy land to build large treatment wetlands that remove phosphorus from drained water, construct large reservoirs to capture rainwater north of the lake and delay its arrival, and drill aquifer storage and recovery wells that store excess water underground. The LOPP also includes regulations that, when combined with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expenditures and state funds, will change agricultural and urban land-use practices to reduce phosphorus runoff. More recently, the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP) was launched, which will complement the existing restoration programs by paying cattle ranchers to provide environmental services that will benefit the lake. The project evaluated the feasibility of providing public monies for three forms of ecological or environmental services (Lynch et al. 2005). The FRESP goals were to: 1) increase the potential of water storage on ranchlands to prevent overly pulsing and flooding the Lake Okeechobee system with more nutrients, 2) increase the amount of phosphorus retention in wetland soils by preventing excessive leaching (retaining vs. releasing P in the biogeochemistry of the local landscape), and 3) increase wetland habitat vegetative species on these ranches in question (Steinman 2003, Lynch et al. 2005, Lynch and Bohlen 2006, Lynch and Shabman 2007). The FRESP concept has now become the Northern Everglades Payment for Environmental Services (NE-PES) program which is being implemented by the South Florida Water Management District in partnership with FDACS.
Available Outputs

Title: News Article: The Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project: Field Testing a Pay-for-Environmental-Services Program
Authors: Lynch, Sarah & Leonard Shabman

Title: Valueing Ecosystem Services on Florida Ranchlands: Lessons Learned from the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP)
Authors: Lynch, Sarah
Project Lead
Shukla, Sanjay
Project Participants
Shukla, Sanjay
Level 1: WI Affiliated Faculty Project
Food, Energy and Water
Water Resources Sustainability
Grant Award Dates
10/20/2010 to 12/31/2011