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The Ribbon Has Been Cut and Water Is Now Flowing Into Cell #1 of the EAA Reservoir Stormwater Treatment Area

South Florida - Thursday January 25, 2024: The ribbon was cut and water is now flowing into the first of three cells at the 6,500-acre Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Stormwater Treatment Area.

The EAA Reservoir is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration, and will help move water south to nourish the Everglades, replenishes Florida’s aquifers, and support the ecosystem of Florida Bay. The reservoir will also help reduce harmful discharges to the St. Lucie River, the Caloosahatchee River and the Lake Worth Lagoon.

The Stormwater Treatment Area was completed 12 months ahead of schedule. The remaining two cells will come online by this summer.

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board expedited the project in 2019 after Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12. The Governor attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with other state and federal officials, to celebrate another milestone in the effort to restore the Everglades.

Pictured from Left to Right: Col. James Booth, USACE - Jacksonville District; Board Member Ben Butler, SFWMD; Board Member Jay Steinle, SFWMD; Director Drew Bartlett, SFWMD; Board Member "Alligator Ron" Bergeron, SFWMD; Chairman Chauncey Goss, SFWMD; Gov. Ron DeSantis; Secretary Shawn Hamilton, DEP; Board Member Charlette Roman, SFWMD; Board Member Charlie Martinez, SFWMD; Chairman Carlos de la Cruz, Jr., Everglades Foundation; Daniel Andrews, Captains for Clean Water; Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation; Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks; Asst. Secretary Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Department of the Interior; Brig. Gen. Daniel Hibner, USACE - South Atlantic Division; Superintendent Pedro Ramos, Everglades National Park; Director Roger Young, FWC

“The EAA Reservoir is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration, ensuring that we are sending water south and reducing harmful discharges into our waterways,” said Governor DeSantis. “The opening of this stormwater treatment cell is a key milestone in the EAA Reservoir project and will help ensure the health of the Everglades for generations to come.”

“Restoring America’s Everglades is one of the most ambitious hydrological restoration projects ever undertaken and will restore the natural flow of clean water south to where it’s needed most," said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District continues working to complete the 10,500-acre reservoir in the coming years.