On August 3rd, 2021, The Everglades Foundation joined Governor Ron DeSantis and the South Florida Water Management District to celebrate the removal of the Old Tamiami Trail roadbed.
This Everglades restoration project, which was completed six months ahead of schedule, removed nearly six miles of roadbed from the Old Tamiami Trail to allow more water to flow south into Everglades National Park for the first time in a century.
Removing the roadbed opens the ability to send 220-billion gallons south to the Northeast Shark River Slough. This is not only good news for the Everglades but also for the coastal estuaries as sending more water south helps reduce harmful algae-causing discharges. This water ultimately travels south through Everglades National Park down to Florida Bay, providing much needed freshwater to support that vital ecosystem.
"Removing the Old Tamiami Trail roadbed is a critical step in helping us restore the flow of freshwater south into the Everglades and Florida Bay," said Eric Eikenberg, President of The Everglades Foundation. "For a long time, Florida held a lot more ground-breakings than ribbon-cuttings. But, under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis and the South Florida Water Management District, we have been celebrating project completions that are making a real difference in our environment and our clean water economy."
Florida's Tamiami Trail (US 41) was built in the early 1900s to connect Tampa and Miami. Its construction effectively created a dam across the Everglades that disrupted the ecosystem's delicate hydrology and historic southerly sheet flow of water from Lake Okeechobee through the Central Everglades and into Florida Bay.
As we celebrate another ribbon cutting, proving that ecosystem restoration works, we turn our eyes to Washington and the continued funding needed to complete the remaining Everglades restoration projects.
Learn more about this restoration project.