Oct 28, 2019

Florida Estuary Restoration Project Breaks Ground

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis breaks ground on the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Reservoir. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis breaks ground on the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Reservoir. 

The Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir Project is underway, according to the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The project aims to store and manage basin runoff for meeting estuary needs during the dry season. The reservoir is part of the Everglades restoration project.

"This is a big step forward in expediting one of our most important Everglades restoration projects," said DeSantis in a news release. "Once complete, the C-43 Reservoir will store approximately 55 billion gal of water, with 19 miles of embankments and 15 miles of canals to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and help bring the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary back to health.”

The reservoir will intercept and store water released from Lake Okeechobee and local storm water runoff. The project intends to reduce harmful discharges during the wet season, which can often lead to algal blooms. 

Water managers will be able to deliver freshwater to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary during the dry season, when the estuary needs freshwater, reported Sunshine State News

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection and local governments to assess the water quality treatment options associated with the reservoir. 

“The Caloosahatchee Reservoir is a lynchpin in restoring America’s Everglades,” said Shannon Estenoz, chief operating officer of The Everglades Foundation. "The ability to provide freshwater to this vital estuary will protect Southwest Florida’s tourism, real estate and recreational economy."

The reservoir is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 at a cost of approximately $500 million, according to SFWMD.

The C-43 Reservoir and other critical restoration projects were identified by Governor DeSantis in Executive Order 19-12 to be expedited, according to the news release.

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