Commentary: Everglades restoration finally showing some progress

The gridlock that has stalled Everglades restoration for so long may finally be easing. A wise appointment by the Obama White House and the first real infusion of federal money since Congress approved the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) in 2000 are combining with state efforts to move things forward.

The long delays have been the fault of never-ending internecine squabbles between state and federal agencies responsible for the clean up and constant legal challenges by the numerous Everglades stakeholders.

It's been frustrating enough to make us wish for one of those White House "czars" with enough power to crack the whip and make everybody behave.

What the Obama administration did instead was to name Terrence "Rock" Salt deputy assistant secretary of the Army to oversee the Corps of Engineers. Mr. Salt is an 18-year veteran of Everglades restoration efforts, first with the Corps and then with the Interior Department.

Mr. Salt may not have a whip, but he has the confidence of the White House and enough federal money — about a half-billion dollars — to jump-start the U.S. government's share of clean-up work.

This week, the Corps finally awarded the contract to elevate a mile of Tamiami Trail to a company based in Sunrise. The project, which has been in the works for 20 years, is a linchpin of CERP that will begin to restore much needed water to the parched southern reaches of the Glades.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.