JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Federal and state partners celebrated the completion of a key component in improving freshwater deliveries to the southern end of the Everglades ecosystem Jan. 11 in Homestead, Fla., at the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project Dedication Ceremony.

"The completion of the C-111 spreader canal is yet another example of the Department working with its partners to get the water right," said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "Providing abundant and cleaner water is one step, among many designed to restore America's Everglades."

The C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a joint effort performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District and local sponsor, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

"We applaud our partner, the South Florida Water Management District, in the completion of this phase of the project," said Terrence "Rock" Salt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. "With the continued support of the Administration and the state of Florida, progress will continue to be made in our restoration efforts."

Through an expedited construction process performed by the SFWMD, the project broke ground in January 2010, and was able to expedite the restoration of essential flows to Florida Bay and preserve water that is essential to the vitality of Everglades National Park.

"Today we celebrate the completion of a crucial component in rehydrating the southern end of the Everglades ecosystem," said Jacksonville District Commander Col. Alan Dodd. "I look forward to the progress we will continue to make alongside our partners in restoring this national treasure."

With its series of pump stations and canals, the project raises groundwater levels directly outside the eastern boundary of Everglades National Park, creating a hydraulic barrier between the park and urban areas of Miami-Dade County that retains fresh water in the park.

"This project will keep the water that is in the park, in the park," said Dan Kimball, Superintendant of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Park. "It is the first project in CERP to provide direct benefits to Everglades National Park."

Page last updated Sat January 12th, 2013 at 00:05