Eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District projects that will provide critical infrastructure to local ports and ecosystem restoration efforts in Florida received approval as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, which was signed by President Barack Obama June 10.
Four navigation projects and four Everglades restoration projects were included in the bill that, in total, authorized 34 Corps projects across the nation.
“Receiving authorization for these projects demonstrates the valuable work we’re doing here in Florida and the quality work Jacksonville District continues to deliver,” said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander. “Congressional authorization is the first step. It now makes these projects eligible for funding during the appropriations process. After receiving appropriations, we can then finalize designs, partnership agreements and contract actions that will enable us to start construction.”
The eight Jacksonville District projects that have received congressional authorization are:
§ Jacksonville Harbor’s Mile Point Project: Will improve navigation safety by reducing the impacts of ebb tide crosscurrents at the confluence of the St. Johns River with the Intracoastal Waterway.
§ Jacksonville Harbor Project: Will deepen the Jacksonville Harbor channel to allow passage of larger ships, thereby reducing transportation costs and improving navigation safety.
§ Canaveral Harbor Project: Will deepen Canaveral Harbor to improve navigation safety and allow passage of larger ships.
§ Lake Worth Inlet Project: Will widen and deepen Lake Worth Inlet to increase overall port efficiency and safety and generate transportation cost savings.
§ Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir Project: Will capture and store basin stormwater runoff, along with a portion of water discharged from Lake Okeechobee; water will be slowly released into the Caloosahatchee River.
§ C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project: Will preserve clean water for Everglades National Park and restore freshwater flows to Florida Bay.
§ Broward County Water Preserve Areas: Will reduce seepage loss from Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3A/3B to the C-11 and C-9 basins and capture, store and distribute surface water runoff from the western C-11 Basin that has been discharged into WCA 3A/3B.
§ Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project: Will improve the ecology of Biscayne Bay, including the freshwater wetlands, tidal creeks and near-shore habitat by redirecting freshwater runoff that is currently being discharged through man-made canals directly into Biscayne Bay.