Progress on the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir in the Wake of Senate Bill 10
Senate Bill 10's Initial Deadlines are Being Met Ahead of Schedule
This year, Audubon helped secure the passing of Senate Bill 10 (SB 10). SB 10 advances the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir and was signed into law by Gov. Scott after overcoming numerous hurdles. During the legislative process, the bill evolved from purchasing land for a reservoir to using state-owned land including land leased to sugarcane farmers. The law requires the EAA Reservoir to store at least 240,000 acre-feet of water. The reservoir must also ensure it is designed to not only catch that water, but also move the water south while meeting water quality standards. Thank you for helping Audubon secure this important victory.
The next steps require the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to notify landowners and those who are currently leasing state-owned lands in the EAA that these lands are needed for the reservoir project. SFWMD must also request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner in developing the project, which is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
Implementing SB 10 is off to a great start as both of these milestones have been met ahead of schedule. SFWMD created a new website to track progress in meeting the requirements of SB 10. With an interactive map of the project area, this website is a proactive initiative to provide the public with updates. Bookmark this page and follow Audubon to stay informed as work continues.
Extreme Weather Causes Dramatic Water Changes in America's Everglades
On the heels of a severe drought that lasted through May, heavy rains in early June have dramatically changed water conditions in the Everglades. These extreme weather changes caused flooding concerns in the Central Everglades. Without additional ways to store and move water to the right places, state and federal water managers have no good options for addressing high water levels. Once built, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir advanced in Senate Bill 10 will create more options for water managers and help limit the impacts of extreme weather on the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. In addition to the reservoir, the extreme conditions demonstrate the need for completing the 2.6 mile Tamiami Trail bridge, the Central Everglades Planning Project and other key restoration projects in CERP. Once America's Everglades is restored, water can better replicate the historic flow, and the ecosystem will be more resilient to sudden weather pattern changes like the droughts and flooding seen this year.
State of the Everglades Report Now Available
Check out the latest State of the Everglades report and learn more about Audubon's work to protect and save America's Everglades. Download this exclusive report for more on restoration projects, water issues, and wading birds.