The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a long history of maintaining the nation's waterways, but only in the last two decades has the Corps taken its knowledge of routing water and applied it towards ecosystem restoration. The Ecosystem Branch oversees the planning, design, construction and management of ecosystem restoration projects in Florida, Puerto Rico, and other U. S. territories in the Caribbean Islands.
The majority of ongoing restoration projects are located in south Florida, including the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Central and Southern Florida projects such as C-111 South Dade and Kissimmee River Restoration. Because these projects are some of the first ecosystem restoration projects undertaken by the Corps, the Jacksonville District leads the way in ecosystem restoration and adaptive management. A key component of successful ecosystem restoration projects is the use of interagency teams during the planning process and continued communication during execution. The Ecosystem Branch is proud to be the Jacksonville District's representative on the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and utilizes this position to continue to inform other agencies regarding ongoing activities.
For additional background information on the Corps' Everglades restoration efforts, visit: [log in for link]
Lake O Watershed Project
Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project
Planning efforts are underway for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed (LOW) project, which aims to:
Improve the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water entering Lake Okeechobee
Provide for better management of lake water levels
Reduce high-volume discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries downstream of the lake
Improve system wide operational flexibility
One of the next steps for implementation is to identify opportunities to restore the quantity, quality, and timing and distribution of flows into Lake Okeechobee. The LOW Project preliminary project area, where placement of features will be considered, covers a large portion of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed north of the lake.
Additional information available in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Project's Frequently Asked Questions document