New restoration project delivering needed freshwater to Florida Bay.
Audubon’s Everglades Science Team was on hand at the January 11 ribbon cutting ceremony for the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project in the Southern Everglades where it became the first Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan project to be completed.
Using detention basins and pumps, this new project will increase freshwater levels near Everglades National Park and help retain water in Taylor Slough, where it will flow to parched Florida Bay rather than seeping out of the park to the massive C-111 canal.
Since 1938, researchers at Audubon’s Tavernier Science Center in the Florida Keys have collected data to help understand the decline of wading birds like the Roseate Spoonbill. The research collected over the decades helped bring the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project to life.
Special thanks must go to the South Florida Water Management District for recognizing Audubon’s calls to expedite and fund this critical Everglades restoration goal ahead of schedule.
Over the years, Audubon’s Tavernier Science Center has evolved to study not only birds, but also the submerged grasses and water quality affecting their food supply of prey fish. Now under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Lorenz, Audubon’s research program has led to the scientific understanding necessary to make restoration progress like the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project possible.
The remarkable wildlife of the Southern Everglades - including iconic Roseate Spoonbills and other wading birds - will benefit from the improved conditions made possible by the completion of this new project. Now that the pumps are turned on, Audubon will be working to ensure this project delivers the ecosystem benefits it is capable of producing.
This is what progress in the Everglades looks like: