FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2014
GOVERNOR SCOTT AND DEP APPLAUD ACTION TO EXPEDITE PROJECTS TO PROTECT SOUTH FLORIDA WATER QUALITY
TALLAHASSEE – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers communicated their plans to work with the state of Florida on important projects to protect waters in South Florida. In particular, the commitment to finish the Kissimmee River Restoration and C-111 South Dade projects, which further improve the Everglades and Kissimmee River ecosystems, and also provide for additional important storage north of Lake Okeechobee.
Governor Scott said, “These projects have been critical in our efforts to restore water quality, so we can better protect estuaries that are impacted by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. We appreciate that the Corps is working with us to complete two critical projects that will provide important benefits to central and south Florida. By authorizing completion of the Kissimmee River Restoration and the C-111 South Dade projects, the Corps is signaling their willingness to join Florida in making water restoration a priority. State and local partners have worked hard with federal officials who are now taking steps to complete these projects. We must do everything it takes to restore water quality and send the water south – and today’s action is another step forward to better protecting the natural treasures families rely on.”
DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard, Jr. echoed the Governor’s appreciation for the renewed sense of cooperation.
“I want to thank Governor Scott for his continued commitment to improving our aquatic environments in South Florida and improving our ability to send water south from Lake Okeechobee,” said Secretary Vinyard. “Under the Governor’s leadership we remain committed to restoring and protecting Florida’s waterways not only for the Everglades and Kissimmee River, but also for families along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.”
Vinyard also added, “We appreciate Secretary Darcy at the Corps for her personal interest in South Florida water matters.”
For the Kissimmee River Restoration project the agreement means the Corps will now initiate construction contracts for the final legs of the backfilling and restoration efforts. The agreement to start work under contract 8 of the C-111 South Dade project will build a system to allow water to flow southward from the Modified Water Delivery project through the C-111 South Dade detention areas, ultimately providing restoration benefits to Everglades National Park. This project, along with the Governor’s commitment to the Tamiami Trail Bridge project, will allow more water to move south.