Jacksonville District Header Image

 

JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT

Home
Home > Missions > Environmental > Ecosystem Restoration  > Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands

Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project

Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project

The Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (BBCW) Phase I Project is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ largest ecosystem restoration program, conducted in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District.  

Biscayne Bay, a shallow estuarine lagoon extending nearly the entire length of Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, is home to over 500 species of fish and other marine organisms. A large area of the south-central portion of Biscayne Bay is contained within Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the national park system; 95% of its 172,000 acres is underwater. The park contains four distinct ecosystems: Biscayne Bay, the mangroves along the shore, the coral limestone keys, and the offshore Florida Reef. The longest stretch of mangrove forest remaining on Florida’s eastern seaboard occurs within Biscayne Bay. Extensive areas of seagrasses in Biscayne Bay serve as an important food source for the endangered Florida manatee, and as nursery areas for many ecologically and commercially important estuarine species, such as shrimp, crabs, lobster, and sponges.

The purpose of the BBCW project is to rehydrate coastal wetlands and reduce abrupt point-source freshwater discharge to Biscayne Bay and Biscayne National Park that are physiologically stressful to fish and benthic invertebrates in the bay near canal outlets. The BBCW project will restore wetland and estuarine habitats, and divert an average of 59 percent of the annual coastal structure discharge into freshwater and saltwater wetlands instead of direct discharges to Biscayne Bay and Biscayne National Park.

These are the project benefits:

  • 190 acres of freshwater wetlands will benefit from freshwater rehydration.
  • Hydroperiods in the target freshwater wetlands will increase from approximately 70 to 200 days per year.
  • Improved oyster bars, submerged aquatic vegetation, wetland vegetation, and associated biota.
  • Increased abundance of fish and abundance and diversity of seagrasses.
  • Improved habitat for alligators and juvenile crocodiles.
  • Produce high-functioning grassy wetlands that will serve as critical habitat to prey fish and wading birds.
  • Out of the total available 22,500 acres of saltwater wetlands, this project will increase saltwater wetland function from 1,002 habitat units to 7,398 habitat units (net of 6,396 acres of functionality).

Project Information

Current Status

In advance of congressional authorization, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) expedited construction of Phase 1 of the project. The SFWMD completed construction of the Deering Estate Flow-way and portions of the L-31E Flow-way in fall 2012 and is operating these components of the project.

Construction of the remaining contracts will redistribute available surface water from the existing canal network to wetlands located east and west of the L-31E Levee through a spreader canal system. 


Corps completes contract for Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project - July 11, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District completed a construction contract laying the groundwork to reestablish freshwater flow to Biscayne Bay as part of ongoing efforts to restore America’s Everglades.

The Corps completed construction on the L-31E Flow-way Culverts S-712A and S-712B on June 29, 2017, two weeks ahead of schedule. The nearly $780,000 construction contract was awarded in September 2016 to Sweat, LLC from Orange Park, Florida. Construction of the culverts will allow water to flow from the L-31E Canal to adjacent wetlands as part of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Phase I Project in Miami-Dade County.

 


Corps awards contract for Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project - September 30, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has awarded a construction contract that will help to restore critical water flow to Biscayne Bay as part of its ongoing efforts to restore America’s Everglades.

The Corps awarded the construction contract for the L-31E Flow Way Culverts 712A and 712B to Sweat, LLC from Orange Park, Florida on Wednesday (Sept. 28) for $777,572.  The work involves construction of culverts that will allow water to flow from the canal to adjacent wetlands as part of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project in Miami-Dade County. 

Points of Contact

Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

904-232-1683

Project Manager
South Florida Water Management District

561-682-6483

Ecosystem Restoration
project links

Roll over the button for a list of links to the Ecosystem Restoration Home page or other project pages.