Kissimmee River, FL
Congressional Districts: 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17
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 modifying the operation of the upper chain of lakes; modifying various structures; enlarging canals C-36 and C-37; backfilling 22 miles of C-38; excavating about nine miles of new river channel; removing two water control structures and locks; flood-proofing developments around the lakes; and acquiring more than 100,000 acres of land.
|Estimated Total Cost
|Estimated Federal Cost
|Allocation thru FY21
|Allocation for FY22
|President’s Budget FY23
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
As of July 2021, all 22 miles of canal have been backfilled, restoring continuous water flow to 44 miles of the historic Kissimmee River. As a result, more than 18,000 acres of floodplain habitat has been partially 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.
Construction in the Reach 2 backfill area was completed in June 2021 and has resulted in the removal of the S-65C and tieback levee and backfill of approximately 9 miles of C-38 canal. Construction in the downstream Reach 3 area finished in July 2021 completing 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.
Additional efforts are focused on developing a phased implementation of post construction operations including the Headwaters Revitalization Schedule for Lake Kissimmee. The first increment will be put into operation near the end of FY22. The required NEPA coordination and documentation to implement the full Headwaters Revitalization Schedule will continue through 2025. Five years of required post-construction monitoring—to measure progress toward ecosystem restoration—will commence after implementation of the full HRS, which is required to restore the hydrology to the system and achieve the desired ecological response.