The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a permit to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) for the first phase of the Rolling Meadows Restoration Project.
The project will restore about 2,000 acres of natural wetland habitat and reconnect hydrologic flows to Lake Hatchineha, ultimately restoring water flow into the Kissimmee River and helping restore Lake Okeechobee.
“Restoring the health of the Lake Okeechobee watershed is a challenging and important undertaking,” said DEP Deputy Secretary for Ecosystem Restoration Drew Bartlett. “Restoring the Rolling Meadows property is an essential step in promoting healthy water flow from the Kissimmee Lakes into Lake Okeechobee.”
The Rolling Meadows Restoration Project is part of a statewide effort to restore and protect Florida’s water quality. It is the first new restoration project to be permitted within the Lake Okeechobee Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), since the restoration plan’s adoption in December 2014. The Lake Okeechobee BMAP identifies a variety of projects to relieve the lake of large influxes of phosphorus-rich water.