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Groundbreaking of New Water Seepage Barrier Wall Project

Key Restoration Project Supports Florida’s Enhanced Efforts to Restore America's Everglades and Mitigate Flooding in Nearby Communities

Pictured from left to right: SFWMD Governing Board Member Ben Butler; USACE Lt. Col. Todd Polk; SFWMD Governing Board Member "Alligator Ron" Bergeron; SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett; Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos; SFWMD Governing Board Member Col. Charlette Roman; Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation; Adam Blalock, DEP Deputy Secretary for Ecosystem Restoration.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - On December 12, 2022, The Everglades Foundation joined the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, other federal, state, and local officials as well as stakeholders to break ground on the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) New Water Seepage Barrier Wall Project, which extends the successful underground wall that was built as part of the 8.5 Square Mile Area Seepage Wall Project.

The project supports ongoing restoration efforts to move water south through the Everglades and into Florida Bay while mitigating potential flooding impacts in communities outside of Everglades National Park.

The Everglades Foundation commends Governor Ron DeSantis and the South Florida Water Management District for continuing to advance important Everglades projects,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “This seepage wall is essential to keeping water in Everglades National Park while protecting adjacent neighborhoods. This feature will also allow us to send water south to Florida Bay where it belongs.

The CEPP New Water Seepage Barrier Wall Project adds five miles of underground seepage wall along the L-357 Levee. SFWMD completed the 2.3-mile first phase of the wall earlier this year and the project is already demonstrating success. During heavy rain events, water that typically would flood communities remained inside Everglades National Park to support the park’s historic hydrology.

By supporting restoration flows of water through the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, the new underground wall supports the Combined Operating Plan (COP) and new infrastructure being put in place throughout the Everglades that delivers more water into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay—two key areas that need increased flows of water.

Watch our recap video of the event below:


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