MARTIN COUNTY – The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet on Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at the Allapattah Ranch Wetland Reserve project site in Martin County for an overview of the project and ribbon cutting.
The expansion was approved under the previous SFWMD governing board. The project restores wetlands and provides benefits to the St. Lucie Estuary.
SFWMD began construction of the Allapattah Ranch Wetland Reserve Project in 2016 on 16,000 acres of former agricultural land northwest of Indiantown, jointly owned by SFWMD and Martin County. The project restores approximately 4,400 acres of land to its natural wetlands state and installs berms, as well as other water control structures, allowing the land to hold water in shallow natural areas after rain events. This will reduce the amount of runoff flowing into the C-23 Canal and eventually the St. Lucie Estuary.
“Local stormwater runoff from Treasure Coast watersheds are a major contributor of excess nutrients that flow into the St. Lucie Estuary,” said Brandon Tucker, who was on the SFWMD board when the expansion was apptoved.
The project was built in cooperation with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners; local, state and federal government units; tribes; and international governments to maintain, conserve and enhance natural resources and the environment. In 2017, the governing board amended its agreement with the NRCS to expand the scope of work by $1 million to build an additional six miles of berm, two additional culverts and other minor work.