WEST PALM BEACH — At their Nov. 12 meeting, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board unanimously approved fully funding the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project’s Stormwater Treatment Area (STA).
“Today’s vote will fully fund the Stormwater Treatment Area, the state’s portion of the EAA Reservoir Project, and help us continue to expedite this critical project,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. “Under the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis, we are already turning dirt ahead of schedule to make this project a reality sooner. The EAA Reservoir Project is critical to reducing damaging discharges, sending more water south and storing excess rainfall.”
The $64 million transfer from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will provide SFWMD all the money it needs to complete the 6,500-acre STA that will clean water stored in the 240,000 acre-foot EAA Reservoir and allow it to be moved south to the Everglades. SFWMD expects to complete the STA portion of the project by 2023.
When used in conjunction with other critical Everglades restoration projects that will be completed over the next several years, the EAA Reservoir Project will reduce environmentally damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the northern estuaries. The project will also increase the flow of clean water south to Everglades National Park.
The reservoir and STA are a combined Everglades restoration effort being completed by SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer. The reservoir is one of more than two dozen projects that Gov. DeSantis identified shortly after taking office in 2019 as key priorities for Everglades restoration. He directed state agencies in Executive Order 19-12 to expedite the completion of these projects to support Everglades restoration and state water quality improvements.