Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that progress had been made on the Everglades Reservoir project. The Republican was accompanied by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein. He was also accompanied by the South Florida Water Management District.
The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board unanimously approved an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This keeps the Corps on track to begin federal construction on the reservoir component this 2021.
According to Florida Government, in April 2020 Governor DeSantis announced that the South Florida Water Management District began construction on the state’s component of the project, the stormwater treatment area, 12 months ahead of schedule.
“Today marks a critical milestone in restoring the Everglades and achieving our state’s long-term environmental goals,” DeSantis said.
The Everglades Reservoir Project
DeSantis said he took office with the responsibility to make this project a priority. For this reason, he celebrated the agreement reached by the Board of Governors. “When I took office, I made expediting the EAA Reservoir Project a top priority. Signing this agreement means we are another step closer to moving more clean water south through the Everglades and reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries,” he said.
The Florida government’s official website details that the project is one of the most important to reduce harmful discharges to the northern estuaries and send more clean water south. It had been approved in 2000, and Governor DeSantis fast-tracked this project on his second day in office with the signing of Executive Order 19-12.