In 1985, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River a National Wild and Scenic River. In 2000, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was authorized by Congress and included several projects to restore the river. The goal of the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Plan is to improve flows to the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River and restore wetlands that form the historic headwaters of the river.

Joint state and federal planning efforts related to the Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Plan began in 2003, were put on hold in 2011 and re-started in 2015, with a much reduced project scope. County staff have been engaged in every iteration of the Loxahatchee River restoration project including its previous incarnation, the North Palm Beach County Project. In addition, Palm Beach County has acquired and restored almost 28,000 acres of natural areas and wetlands within the Loxahatchee River watershed for the benefit of the ecosystem.

Unfortunately, there are many project elements and benefits that were envisioned in CERP, approved by Congress in 2000 that are not included in the current Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Plan. In addition, the County along with some local stakeholders have concerns with some of the proposed project features, the lengthy implementation schedule and the high cost.

Palm Beach County SUPPORTS efforts by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to collaborate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the County and other key local stakeholders to identify potential forward paths that would address County and stakeholder concerns with the proposed Loxahatchee River Watershed Restoration Plan.

Palm Beach County also SUPPORTS efforts to advance projects within Palm Beach County that provide benefits to the Lake Worth Lagoon, reduce potential flood damages, and increase the availability of water supplies, similar to those envisioned in CERP.