Moving from Concept to Implementation: The Emergence of the Northern Everglades Payment for Environmental Services Program
The Northern Everglades Payment for Environmental Services (NE-PES) program was launched in 2011 by the state of Florida. The NE-PES program was developed through the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP), a six-year collaborative effort (2005–2011) that engaged ranchers, government agencies, and environmental NGOs. Through FRESP, eight pilot water management projects were implemented on cattle ranches. The projects demonstrated how ranchland owners, as service sellers, could enter into contracts with a state agency buyer to provide the buyer-desired services of water retention (acre-feet) and/or nutrient load retention (lbs. of phosphorus or nitrogen). Innovative contract elements, based on the experience of implementing the pilot projects, developed by FRESP collaboration partners made the now operating NE-PES possible.
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