COMPREHENSIVE EVERGLADES RESTORATION PLAN
Picayune Strand Restoration
Congressional Districts: 19, 25
Congress authorized the Picayune Strand Restoration Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 and amended the authorization in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) of 2016. The purpose of the project is to restore and enhance the wetlands back to pre-development hydrology. The project is located in Collier County, south of I-75 and north of U.S. Highway 41 between the Belle Meade Area and the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Implementing the project will improve the water quality of coastal estuaries by moderating the large salinity fluctuations caused by freshwater point discharge from the Faka Union Canal. The project will aid in protecting the City of Naples’ eastern Golden Gate wellfield by improving groundwater recharge, as well as help replenish the aquifer system. The project includes a combination of pump stations, spreader basins, canal plugs, and road removal.
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|President’s Budget FY22
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) initiated construction of the Picayune Strand Restoration project by plugging the Prairie Canal as part of the SFWMD Expedited Construction Plan. This effort also included the design for Merritt, Faka Union, and Miller pump stations. The Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) was executed in August 2009.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) awarded the Merritt Pump Station and Road Removal construction contract in October 2009. Pump station construction and road removal were completed in September 2014 and the facility was transferred to SFWMD in June 2016.
The Corps awarded the Faka Union Pump Station and Road Removal construction contract in November 2010. Construction was completed in January 2016 and the facility was transferred to SFWMD in January 2018.
The Corps awarded the Miller Pump Station construction contract in September 2013. Construction was completed in May 2018 and the facility was transferred to SFWMD in March 2020.
SFWMD constructed the Manatee Mitigation Feature to mitigate for the effect of the project on manatees in the Faka Union Canal; construction was completed in April 2016. In June 2019, the Corps and SFWMD executed a PPA Amendment to grant SFWMD the authority to request credit for this feature.
In October 2017, SFWMD requested that the Corps take over design and construction of all remaining features of the project. The Corps completed design of the Southwest Protection Features—a 7.2-mile levee between the Picayune Strand Project site and the agricultural land southwest of project site; and culverts under US Highway 41 and County Road 92 in Collier County—in 2020. The levee will provide protection to the agricultural area from the restoration of the hydrology and the culverts will provide additional conveyance through the roads. Construction contracts for the levee and culverts were awarded in September 2020; the work is scheduled for completion in October 2023.
Road removal north of the tie-back levee is approximately 75% complete. The contract for Miller Tram and Road Removal west of Miller Canal was awarded in September 2019. The Stair Step Canal plugging is also underway. It would have been completed in May 2020 but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work was suspended. Construction resumed in January 2021 and completion is expected in July 2021.
After the Southwest Protection Features are constructed, the Miller and Faka Union canals can be plugged, and full hydrologic restoration can be realized. This is anticipated in 2025.