The proposed project will replace lost overland fresh water flow and partially
compensate for the reduction in groundwater seepage by redistributing, through
a spreader system, available surface water entering the area from regional canals.
The goal of this project is to improve the ecological health of Biscayne Bay
(including freshwater wetlands, tidal creeks and near- shore habitat) by adjusting
the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of freshwater entering Biscayne
Bay and Biscayne National Park. Redistribution of freshwater flow and the expansion
and restoration of wetlands will help to restore or enhance freshwater wetlands,
tidal wetlands, and near shore bay habitat. Improving salinity distribution near
the shoreline with sustained lower-than- seawater salinities in tidal wetlands
can help to reestablish productive nursery habitat for shrimp and shellfish,
including oyster reef communities.
The project includes pump stations, spreader
swales, stormwater treatment areas, flowways, levees, culverts, and backfilling
canals located in southeast Miami-Dade County and covers 13,600 acres along L-31E
to capture, treat, and redistribute freshwater runoff from the watershed going
into Biscayne Bay, creating more natural water deliveries and expanding spatial
extent and connectivity of coastal wetlands, and improved recreational opportunities.
On June 10, 2014, the project received congressional authorization in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014. Congressional authorization now makes the project eligible for funding during the appropriations process.
In advance of congressional authorization, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) expedited construction of Phase 1 of the project.Â The SFWMD completed construction of the Deering Estate Flow-way and portions of the L-31E Flow-way in fall 2012 and is operating these components of the project.