The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District began to release additional water out of Water Conservation Area-3A (WCA-3A) into Everglades National Park today through the S-12A and B structures along Tamiami Trail in Miami- Dade County, Fla.
The water releases are being conducted in accordance with the Everglades Restoration Transition Plan (ERTP), the operating plan that manages project features in portions of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and adjacent areas, while also working to improve conditions in WCA-3A for the multiple endangered species that inhabit the area.
As indicated under ERTP, both the S-12A and B are allowed to be opened July 15. Currently the water level in WCA- 3A is at 11.0 feet and within Zone A of the Regulation Schedule. The bottom limit of Zone A varies between 9.5 feet and 10.5 feet. Combined, both structures are currently releasing approximately 700 cubic feet per second (cfs), but flows will fluctuate as conditions change.
"Taking advantage of this provision in the operating plan will help to better manage the impacts of high water in WCA- 3A," said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. "Our continued goal is to utilize all options available to best balance the multiple needs of the system."
Under ERTP, both S-12A and B are closed for several months throughout the year to reduce potential impacts to the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, which resides south of WCA-3A in Everglades National Park. S-12A is closed from Nov. 1 – July 14 and S-12B is closed from Jan. 1 – July 14. These releases are being conducted in addition to ongoing releases from S-12C and D, S-333 and S-151. S-343A and B and S-344 were also opened by South Florida Water Management District today.
For more information on water level data for the Water Conservation Areas, visit the Jacksonville District’s water management page:
Release no. 13-050