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The Kissimmee River Restoration project is nearly complete, and water managers report that it performed well during Hurricane Irma. Before restoration, the channelized Kissimmee River would flush water quickly into Lake Okeechobee, draining the surrounding floodplain.
The Western Everglades was at the center of extreme weather impacts in 2017. Unnaturally hot wildfires, like those experienced in the region this past spring, were followed by high summer rainfall and Hurricane Irma.
The sandy beaches, mudflats, and interior marshes of Cape Sable provide some of the most valuable waterbird habitat in Everglades National Park. Protruding into the Gulf of Mexico off the southwest tip of the Florida mainland, the Cape is also one of the most vulnerable locations to tropical storm impacts and sea level rise.
This year’s record-breaking wet season coupled with significant rainfall from Hurricane Irma created extremely high water levels in the Central Everglades.