FIU Student researches citizen attitudes to improve Everglades restoration

Mustafa Kamal Sikder wants more people to engage in Everglades restoration efforts.

The Florida International University (FIU) environmental studies student is examining Floridians’ opinions on the various benefits they currently enjoy from the River of Grass, including water purification, storm protection, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. He also wants to explore their attitudes about restoring it. His research project is funded by the Everglades Foundation FIU ForEverglades Scholarship.

This Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is one of the largest restoration efforts ever attempted in our country. It is being implemented in 16 counties over an 18,000 square-mile area, but its outcomes will be felt in the entire state,” Sikder said. “Restoration can affect everything from fisheries, which are major, economic drivers, to how we extract ground water for our consumption. People need to be informed of and care about what’s happening with Everglades restoration.

Sikder hopes the body of knowledge derived from his work will assist policy-makers in introducing, modifying or evading legislation pertaining to Everglades restoration; avoiding local conflicts; and better implementing the restoration plan.

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