On Thursday Governor DeSantis signed a deal with the South Florida Water Management District and U.S Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction on the federal component of the EAA Reservoir Project. It puts the state one step closer to moving more clean water south through the Everglades and reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.
DeSantis said the signing marks a critical milestone for Everglades restoration and achieving Florida’s long-term environmental goals. “When I took office, I made expediting the EAA Reservoir Project a top priority. Signing this agreement means we are another step closer to moving more clean water south through the Everglades and reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.”
South Florida Water Management District Chairman and Sanibel resident Chauncey Goss said three years ago oddsmakers would have been betting heavily against this group standing together cutting this deal. “Moving forward on the construction of the EAA reservoir has been an uphill battle. But we are here today, and we are moving forward with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is simply a testament to how government can work for the people when strong leaders engage. Governor DeSantis has kept his eyes firmly on the prize and has never wavered in his support of this project, even when it was politically expedient to throw in the towel. Because of his leadership, along with support from the Florida Legislature, and dedication of the SFWMD Governing Board and staff, we are moving full steam ahead to complete the EAA Reservoir Project. Today’s agreement is critical to restoring the health of our estuaries and the Everglades, and we look forward to the U.S. Army Corps breaking ground on their portion of the EAA Reservoir Project as soon as possible.”
Captains for Clean Water Executive Director Captain Dan Andrews added, “It’s great to see the South Florida Water Management District under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, making progress on Everglades Restoration. Clean and usable waterways are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and the EAA Reservoir Project is such a critical part of restoring balance back to our estuaries. This agreement will allow progress to continue and things to stay moving in the right direction. Projects like this are massive undertakings, and it’s imperative that they stay on track if we’re going to save our waters. We’re glad to see this agreement to stay on track here today.”
The EAA Reservoir Project is one of the most important Everglades restoration projects for reducing harmful discharges to the northern estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades.
The EAA Reservoir Project is a joint Everglades restoration project between the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The South Florida Water Management District began building the water-cleansing marsh called a Stormwater Treatment Area last year, and this agreement enables the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the accompanying storage reservoir.