On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the advancement of an Everglades restoration project to remove more than five miles of roadbed from Old Tamiami Trail.
Removing the roadbed improves the volume of water flowing south through the Everglades and supports reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.
This project is a component of the larger Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), which also includes the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project. CEPP will help deliver additional clean water from Lake Okeechobee south to Water Conservation Area 3, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
“Protecting Florida’s natural resources for future generations has been a priority of my administration since day one,” said DeSantis. “At my direction, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) continue to prioritize expediting crucial Everglades and water quality projects including the removal of roadbed from the Old Tamiami Trail. This project which will be completed by January of 2022, will increase the flow of clean, freshwater into the Northeast Shark River Slough by more than 220 billion gallons per year and support reduced estuary discharges.”
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, DEP and the South Florida Water Management District continue to advance important Everglades restoration projects,” said DEP Sec. Noah Valenstein. “The Old Tamiami Trail Roadbed Removal project improves water quality, restores the ecology of the region and supports sending water south and reducing harmful estuary discharges.”
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Transportation is deeply committed to preserving the quality of our state’s unique environment,” said Florida Department of Transportation Sec. Kevin Thibault. “The removal of the Old Tamiami Trail roadbed is critical as we continue our progress in helping restore the flow of freshwater into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.”
“Governor DeSantis charged us with the task of expediting Everglades restoration projects, and this is another key step forward,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. “Thanks for the governor’s strong leadership, a suite of Everglades restoration projects are underway in South Florida to allow more water to be directed south to the Central Everglades into Everglades National Park while protecting our coastal estuaries. We are expediting this project and continue to take actions that will restore the natural flow of water south.”
The Tamiami Trail Projects, EAA Reservoir Project and other Everglades restoration projects were identified by DeSantis in his “Achieving More Now For Florida’s Environment” executive order to be expedited and completed as quickly as possible.