Ground broken on embankments, canals for C-43 reservoir
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently visited the site of the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir to break ground on the embankments and canals to complete the Everglades restoration project.
Today, he was joined by members of the South Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as conservation groups, local community leaders and other environmental stakeholders.
“This is a big step forward in expediting one of our most important Everglades restoration projects,” DeSantis said. “Once complete, the C-43 Reservoir will store approximately 55 billion gallons of water, with 19 miles of embankments and 15 miles of canals to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and help bring the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary back to health. I thank our partners at the South Florida Water Management District and the Department of Environmental Protection who I know will work hard to see this project through.”
The reservoir will intercept and store water released from the lake, as well as stormwater runoff. It will reduce discharges from the lake to the Caloosahatchee Estuary during the wet season that can lead to algal blooms. It also allows water managers to deliver freshwater to the Caloosahatchee and the estuary during the dry season when the estuary needs freshwater.
The reservoir is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“As a longtime resident of Sanibel, it’s heartening to see Governor DeSantis’ strong commitment to expediting Everglades restoration and improving water quality for Southwest Florida,” SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss said. “When this project is complete it will help moderate the harmful water releases that have had such a devastating impact on our estuaries and our Southwest Florida communities. It will also help improve the health of our estuaries during our dry season. Today, we are proud to break ground as we work to expedite completion of the reservoir to bring its benefits to our community sooner. This is all possible thanks to the leadership and hard work of Governor DeSantis.”
The SFWMD is working to build about 19 miles of embankments, allowing the two-cell reservoir to hold 170,000 acre-feet of water – approximately 55.4 billion gallons. Fifteen miles of perimeter canals, 14 water control structures and public recreational features will be incorporated into the site.