Audubon Scientists Find Progress One Year After C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component Ribbon-Cutting
Great colonies of wading birds, including signature species like the Roseate Spoonbill, once congregated on the shores of Florida Bay. The ultimate measurement of restoration success is bringing those colonies back. Increasing freshwater flows to Taylor Slough in the Southern Everglades will restore critical foraging habitat and Florida’s birds will respond by building nests and hatching and fledging chicks.
The C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component is a major restoration project designed to improve freshwater flows to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The project creates a nine mile hydraulic ridge designed to hold rain water and natural flows into Taylor Slough, a critical flow-path that carries water through the heart of Everglades National Park into Florida Bay. Water is then able to sheet-flow and filter into the ground, rehydrating this historic wetland habitat.
The C-111 Spreader Canal Project includes two components. The first phase, the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Component (phase one) has been operating for over a year, and the C-111 Spreader Canal Eastern Component (phase two) is still in the planning phase and will be completed in the future.
In the first year of operation, the Western Component has already improved flow and salinity conditions, which have led to improvement in the health and quality of wetland habitats in Florida Bay. This project is the first major constructed operational component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). CERP was approved by Congress in 2000 to reverse the ecological decline observed in the Everglades and Florida Bay.