The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, has transferred the first completed Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project to the local sponsor, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
The Corps completed construction of the Melaleuca Eradication and Other Exotic Plants Research Annex Aug. 30, 2013, and after completing required documentation, the letter of official transfer was submitted to the SFWMD, who will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the fully-completed facility. The Corps received the signed transfer letter Jan. 10, marking the successful completion and transfer of the project.
“The successful transfer of this project demonstrates the Corps of Engineers’ commitment to getting projects not only constructed, but also officially turned over to our local sponsors after completion,” said Jacksonville District Commander Col. Alan Dodd. “We have a lot of projects in the works, and we will continue to push forward in our project execution and completion goals.”
The Melaleuca Eradication and Other Exotic Plants Research Annex, located in Davie, Fla., will serve as a new facility to raise insects that will be used as a biocontrol measure to manage invasive plants. Construction began on the facility in July 2011, with federal funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
While the Melaleuca project was the first CERP project to be officially completed and transferred, the Corps also recently transferred another CERP component to the SFWMD, the Lake Okeechobee Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Pilot Project and facility, located adjacent to the Kissimmee River in Okeechobee County. The facility, which includes pumps, structures, buildings, wells, and treatment system, was transferred to the SFWMD Dec. 18, 2013, for operations and maintenance upon completion of the pilot study.
The pilot project tested ASR performance for future facility expansions. In coordination with the SFWMD, the Corps is leading efforts to finalize a Technical Data Report documenting the findings and recommendations of the aquifer storage and recovery system.
Press Release, January 23, 2014