Ground Broken on Final Biscayne Bay Wetlands Project
South Florida - Tuesday March 21, 2023: Ground was broken Tuesday on the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (BBCW) Project known as the Cutler Wetlands Component. Its the final component of the five-part Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Miami-Dade County and other federal, state and local officials were on hand for the groundbreaking which marks the start of construction on the Cutler Flow Way Phase 1 Pump Station S-701. Once complete, the S-701 Pump Station will deliver freshwater from the C-1 Canal to slowly rehydrate coastal wetlands to Biscayne Bay instead of harmfully discharging it immediately into the bay.
The project will improve the health of Biscayne Bay and will aid in wetland rehydration by building coastal resiliency and improving water quality in this area of Miami-Dade County.
“Every single increment, every single project that we complete, has a major impact on the environment," said Army Corps Col. James Booth. "We see the benefits as soon as that project is done, sometimes even while that project is being constructed."
The Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project is part of the larger Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) that aims to restore the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water within the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.
All the components of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project will be complete by 2025. When done, it will restore freshwater flows to southern Biscayne Bay and Biscayne National Park while improving salinity distribution near the shore. It also restores historical freshwater wetland habitat adjacent to the Bay, which acts like a sponge, soaking up water in the wet season and slowly releasing it in a more natural pattern.
Reestablishing productive nearshore habitat also supports nursery habitat for key marine wildlife including shrimp, shellfish and fish.
"Our Bay is an environmental treasure and economic engine for Miami," said SFWMD Governing Board Member Charlie Martinez. "Improving the health of the Bay is critical to safeguarding this one-of-a-kind waterbody."