JACKSONVILLE -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District delivered a record amount of water from Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3-A to Everglades National Park (ENP) in the past year. Surpassing expectations, the USACE successfully delivered over 1.4 million acre-feet of water, marking the third-highest volume since 2012, during a non-hurricane year.
The Everglades, a globally unique ecosystem, stands as the only one of its kind in the world. USACE, and its state partners are making strategic efforts to restore, rehabilitate and reverse the damage inflicted in the past. This mission is no small task, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is a 30-year project with far-reaching impacts on both the Everglades and its diverse wildlife, as well as the entire population of Florida.
The Everglades originally extended from Shingle Creek (just south of Orlando) down to Miami and and served as interconnected network of waterways uniting the region. The goal is to restore this network of waterways by getting the water right, where it needs to be and when it needs to be there (quantity, quality, timing and delivery).
Moving water south across Tamiami Trail is essential because it contributes to flood risk management and the prevention of saltwater intrusion as well as supplying, water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses, restores natural hydrologic conditions in the Everglades, the protection of fish and wildlife resources, groundwater recharge, recreation, and navigation.
“We have conveyed historic flows into Everglades National Park without the help of a tropical storm this year” said Col James Booth, the District Commander for the USACE Jacksonville District. “this is a sign we are on the right track with our restoration goals and energizes us as we progress with the Comprehensive Everglades Plan”.
The volume delivered this year is significant because it proves that the Combined Operational Plan (COP) is working as intended since implementation in 2020. The COP is a comprehensive, integrated Water Control Plan for the southern portion of the Central & Southern Florida. The COP goals include improving water conditions (timing, location, volume) into the Everglades.