Picayune Strand Restoration Project

Picayune Strand Pump Station

The Picayune Strand Restoration Project, the first Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP) to begin construction, is being conducted in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District. This project involves the restoration of natural water flow across 85 square miles in western Collier County that were drained in the early 1960s in anticipation of extensive residential development. This drainage dramatically altered the natural landscape, changing a healthy wetland ecosystem into a distressed environment.

The restoration involves plugging 48 miles of canals, removing 260 miles of crumbling roads, and constructing three major pump stations, all of which will restore more than 55,000 acres of natural habitat. Wetlands will be restored in Picayune Strand (Southern Golden Gate Estates) and in adjacent public lands —  including the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and Collier Seminole State Park — by reducing over-drainage, while restoring a natural and beneficial sheetflow of water to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. When completed, the project will restore historic water flows that benefit coastal estuaries by reducing large salinity fluctuations due to freshwater flowing from the Faka-Union Canal into the estuaries; recharge the aquifer; and protect the water supply, while maintaining current levels of flood protection. Protection levees are planned for adjacent private properties impacted by the project along with maintenance of flood protection for the Northern Golden Gate Estates residential area.

Ecological benefits are already being seen at Picayune Strand as a result of the restoration work done to date. Native plants and animals are returning to the area, including the wood stork and the endangered Florida panther. By restoring the hydrology in the area, the completed project also directly benefits the southern Gulf Coast estuaries, improving juvenile fish habitats and increasing fish and bird populations, as well as providing recreational opportunities in the area.

Picayune Strand Restoration Project Road Plan Public Comment and NEPA Scoping Meetings

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District announces Virtual NEPA Public Scoping Meetings and public comment on the Picayune Strand Restoration Project Road Plan. Virtual meetings are scheduled during the morning and evening of July 24. Public Scoping Comments are due August 14.

The Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment for the Road Plan of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP). The purpose of the full PSRP is to restore pre-development hydrological conditions over more than 66,500 acres within the Picayune Strand State Forest, Collier Seminole State Park, and Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. The PSRP will also improve downstream freshwater deliveries by reducing point source discharge through the Faka Union Canal and providing more natural sheetflow throughout the southern portion of the PSRP footprint into downstream estuaries. The PSRP will be updated from the existing Road Plan to identify which roads will be left in place and which will be removed and will add protections for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This is anticipated to be the final update to the PSRP.

This NEPA document will evaluate the environmental effects of alternatives that incorporate changes to the retained road length and design features of Miller Boulevard within the Road Plan for the protection of RCW that will enable the PSRP to meet project objectives upon completion of the plugging of the Faka Union and the Miller Canals.

USACE invites the participation of federal and state agencies, Native American Tribes, local agencies, interested parties and individuals to provide comments and to identify any issues or concerns.

Public scoping meetings will be held virtually at the following dates and times:

Picayune Strand Restoration Project Road Plan
NEPA Public Scoping Meeting (Virtual)

July 24, 2023, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Via Webex:
US Toll Free: +1-844-800-2712
US Toll: +1-669-234-1177
Access Code: 2762 850 0483

Picayune Strand Restoration Project Road Plan
NEPA Public Scoping Meeting (Virtual)

July 24, 2023, 5 to 7 p.m.
Via Webex:
US Toll Free: +1-844-800-2712
US Toll: +1-669-234-1177
Access Code: 2763 501 7252

Please provide comments that consider what the concerns are with current project operations within the PSRP study area, what aspects need to be changed, and how those issues and changes should be evaluated.

Please submit comments to CESAJ-PSRP@usace.army.mil by the close of business on August 14 (recommended subject line: "PSRP Road Plan Scoping Comments").

All comments will be summarized, addressed, and used to inform development of alternatives for the Picayune Strand Restoration Project.

Picayune Strand Restoration Project Public Comment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District opens public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) regarding construction of features of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP). Comments are due June 12, 2020.


Picayune Strand Restoration Project 

Southwest Construction Feature, Additional Conveyance Features, and Partial Plugging of the Faka Union Canal 

Supplemental EA and proposed FONSI 


The Corps will accept written comments through June 12, 2020 via email to Michael.T.Simmons@usace.army.mil (recommended subject line: "Picayune Strand Draft EA Comments"). If additional assistance is needed, please contact 561-801-5734.

Info & Meetings


Project Delivery Team (PDT) meetings enable federal, state and local agencies, and tribal governments to provide their input into the Picayune Strand Restoration Project. Members of the public may attend PDT meetings and provide public comment at the end of the meeting.

PSRP PDT meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. Teleconference details:

Call-in number: 877-848-7030
Passcode: 8206346
Security code: 1234


October 30, 2018 - Project Delivery Team (PDT) Meeting
Meeting documents:

September 7, 2017 - Project Delivery Team (PDT) Meeting
The meeting was canceled.

Project Status

Project Status - July 2018

Construction of Merritt Pump Station and Faka Union Pump Station has been completed.  The third and final pump station, Miller Pump Station, is under construction and scheduled for completion in summer 2019. Protection features are also being constructed that will enable the operation of all project components when construction is complete. Clearing and plugging activities on the Eastern Stair Steps began 11 July 2018. The team is preparing scope and scheduling wildlife surveys for road removal north of the tieback levees, which is scheduled to begin in August 2018. Modeling for the Southwest Protection Features is on hold pending receipt of additional information about local discharges from the Lipman Farms.  

Completion of Major Everglades Construction Contract Celebrated - October 24, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District celebrated the completion of the Merritt Pump Station alongside federal, state and local representatives and Everglades restoration supporters Oct. 24, 2014.   

The Merritt Pump Station is a key piece of infrastructure for the Picayune Strand Restoration Project that will maintain current levels of flood protection while directing fresh water to drained wetlands located downstream. In addition to the pump station, the contract includes 95 miles of roadway that were removed and degraded and about 10 miles of canals that will be plugged to restore the natural flow of water in the area.

Federal appropriations provided more than $66 million in order to complete the Merritt Pump Station. This included approximately $40 million funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which accelerated the construction schedule and helped create local jobs.

The Merritt Pump Station was the first CERP construction contract to begin. Progress also continues on the construction of the project’s other two pump stations, the Faka Union and Miller pump stations, with scheduled completion in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

 Miller Pump Station looking northwest, 94 percent complete. 21 Oct 2017

Points of Contact

Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Project Manager
South Florida Water Management District



Project Videos

These videos are available:

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