The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today at the S-333 water control structure in western Miami-Dade County, bringing together members of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to celebrate the first contract for the Central Everglades Planning Project, a project designed to improve flows south to Everglades National Park.
The Corps awarded the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) South Contract 1 Sept. 25 for $40,502,895 to Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. from Omaha, Nebraska. The contract calls for the construction of culverts and a gap in the L-67A levee and backfilling an agricultural ditch just north of Tamiami Trail. Work on this project is expected to be complete by end of 2024.
The contract is the outcome of years of interagency planning and coordination with partners at the South Florida Water Management District, stakeholders, and members of the public who have been collaborating to improve the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water in south Florida.
“This ground breaking ceremony for the Central Everglades Planning Project signifies the hard work and interagency collaboration that was necessary to award this first contract,” said Ryan Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “Ecosystem restoration is one of the top missions of the Civil Works program, and improving the distribution and flow of water to southern Florida is a priority for our office and this administration, with the assistance of the Water Subcabinet.”
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards conserving and protecting the Everglades, helping to move water through the entire system and bringing needed water to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman Mary Neumayr. “Federal agencies are coordinating like never before to benefit communities across the country, including right here in south Florida.”
“Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the Trump Administrations commitment of Everglades restoration,” said Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty. “The foundation of that restoration is water – water infrastructure, movement, quality and timing Today’s success is due to the collaboration of federal, state, tribal and local partners. Matching your commitment with ours, the Trump Administration and the Water Subcabinet look forward to partnerships and the successes to come.”
"The Florida Everglades are a national treasure, and we are excited to witness the collaborative progress that is being achieved in South Florida," said U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. "EPA will continue to work with the Water Subcabinet to support our local, state, tribal, and federal partners in restoring this amazing ecosystem while enjoying the many economic, recreational, cultural and environmental benefits it supports."
"Healthy coastal and marine ecosystems directly contribute to the strength of America's blue economy, so restoration projects like these are key to a thriving local community and overall nation," said Nicole LeBoeuf, Acting Director of NOAA's National Ocean Service. "NOAA's partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Everglades restoration results in better management of water flow essential to protecting downstream resources such as coral reefs and seagrass beds."
Today’s ceremony is the first of many, as current schedules call for awarding new contracts every year through 2025 to complete the CEPP project. Learn more about CEPP at www.saj.usace.army.mil/CEPP