Kissimmee River FL (C)

June 2021

FACT SHEET

Kissimmee River, FL 
Construction (C)
Congressional Districts: 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17

1. DESCRIPTION

Congress authorized the Kissimmee River, Florida, project in the Water Resources Development Act of 1992. The Kissimmee Basin includes 3,000 square miles stretching from Orlando to Lake Okeechobee in central Florida. The project involves the ecosystem restoration of the historic floodplain to re-establish wetland conditions by implementing the following: modifications to the operation of the upper chain of lakes; modification of various structures; enlargement of canals C-36 and C-37; backfilling 22 miles of C-38; excavation of about nine miles of new river channel; removal of two water control structures and locks; flood proofing of developments around the lakes; and land acquisition of over 100,000 acres.

2. FUNDING

Estimated Total Cost $853,802,000
Estimated Federal Cost $431,805,000
Allocation thru FY20 $399,695,000
Allocation for FY21 $0
President’s Budget FY22 $1,500,000
 

3. SPONSOR

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406

4. STATUS

As of February 2021, more than 19of 22 miles of canal backfill has been completed; restoring continuous water flow to much of the 44 miles of the historic Kissimmee River. As a result, more 18,000 acres of floodplain habitat has been restored. The response of the natural system has greatly exceeded expectations. Many species of ducks and wading birds—including the ring-necked duck, American avocet, and black-necked stilt—are now present.

Ongoing construction in the Reach 2 backfill area has resulted in completion of removal of the S-65C and tieback levee, and backfill of approximately 9 miles of C-38 canal. Continuing construction is focused on repair of backfilled sections damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2018, preparation of hardened plugs to prevent future erosion of backfill, and re-grading the back filled areas to the full cross-sectional flow of the historic Kissimmee River. Completion of Reach 2 is expected in July 2021.

Ongoing construction in the downstream Reach 3 area is focused on completion of the S-69 Weir and Reach 3 backfill repairs required due to Hurricane Irma. The northern section of Reach 3 backfill repair was completed in June 2020. Completion for the S-69 Weir  and the southern section of Reach backfill repair is expected in July 2021.

Additional efforts are focused on developing a phased implementation of the Headwaters Revitalization Schedule for Lake Kissimmee. The first increment will be put into operation near the end of FY21 after completion of the ongoing construction contracts. The required NEPA coordination and documentation to implement the full Headwaters Revitalization Schedule will continue through 2022. Five years of required post-construction monitoring—to measure progress toward ecosystem restoration—will commence after construction completion.

 

Map of Kissimmee River Restoration project area