On Thursday, February 13, the Governing Board for the SFWMD will consider supporting the completion of the Picayune Strand restoration project by sending a letter of support for Congress to raise the authorized project cost.
This is the biggest single habitat restoration project in all of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The benefits of Picayune Strand total over 75,000 acres of wetland and habitat restored, plus thousands of acres of estuary restoration in the Ten Thousand Islands.
Numerous portions of this project are now complete, such as the Prairie Canal, Merritt Canal Pump and Spreader Canal, and miles of road removal. Endangered Florida panthers and Wood Storks are starting to return to the area as hydrology has been restored. The project is a critical restoration link for major adjacent public lands including the Florida Panther Refuge, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Rookery Bay Reserve, and the Ten Thousand Islands Refuge.
Originally authorized in the last Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in 2007, its total cost has increased due to additional required features on the large engineering components. Without this increase, we will have spent $500 million over 30 years and not be able to realize much of the restoration benefits.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The Governing Board is expected to approve this letter of support, but when it comes to money, nothing is taken for granted. Let the Governing Board know that you support this important Everglades project, send an email to Marcia Kivett right now.
Or, you can stop by the 9am meeting on Thursday, February 13 if you're in Ft. Myers at Lee County Commission Chambers, 2120 Main Street, Ft. Myers, FL 33901.