U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) proposed operational plan to allow for much-needed freshwater to flow into Florida Bay.
In a letter sent recently, Rubio asked the Corps to “review the required permitting necessary for the SFWMD to begin its work in restoring Florida Bay as expeditiously as possible.”
South Florida Water Management District construction crews began work a couple of weeks ago on a key component of the plan to deliver more fresh, clean water to the ailing Florida Bay.
The plan will double the flow of water into the headwaters of Taylor Slough, which connects to the bay. This means on average as much as 6.5 billion gallons more freshwater per year will reach the bay to help restore seagrass that succumbed to the drought of summer 2015.
Using a hydraulic ram, crews began to remove a portion of the S-327 Weir in Miami-Dade County so that more water can flow from west of Homestead into Taylor Slough in Everglades National Park, and ultimately to the bay.
The weir operates much like a dam but allows water to flow over the top to help manage water levels.
The work entails degrading 250 feet of the 1,900 foot weir by excavating 170 cubic yards of reinforced concrete off the top and stockpiling 850 cubic yards of limestone fill.