I spend a good amount of time studying the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon; nonetheless, I am constantly amazed to learn what I don’t know. In a nutshell, the C-44 storm water treatment and reservoir is part of the Indian River Lagoon South Project to clean up the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon by storing and cleaning water from our huge C-44 basin.
The project is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and even though I have read about it for years, I did not know how or the order of it being built. Today I will share my experience in learning just the beginning.
To look back a bit for the history, building the C-44 storm water treatment area and reservoir is combined effort of many years of work of local, state and federal governments and it is one of the most expensive water projects being built in the Florida, with an estimated costs of almost 4 million to complete.
I wanted to SEE this because it is so hard to understand it all.
So a few weeks ago my husband Ed, and his friend Shawn and I are flying over this area and I’m saying “where is it? It’s supposed to be here. I want to take some pictures. Hmmm? I don’t see anything…I was expected a big lake like thing off of the C-44 canal or something.”
Ed calmly, says: ” This is it Jacqui. Over the past years the ACOE has been working hard to build this new intake canal. We have seen it for years as we fly over. It must be built first probably; you can see the results.”
So we flew north over the four mile intake canal that finally stopped in a wilderness of agricultural lands.
The intake canal was completed in July of 2014 at of cost of 28 million dollars. This is huge accomplishment and this is only the beginning. This is what we can SEE so far.
So what will we SEE in the future?
To get an idea as seen below, the FPL cooling pond off the east coast of Lake Okeechobee is 5,000 acres. The C-44 STA/R. will be almost 10,000 acres. So in the future, when one looks at a Google Maps, there will be another gigantic lake looking thing consisting of the STA (6300 acres) and the reservoir (3, 400 acres) east, north and west of the Indiantown Airport, the red dot below.
The monies and energy needed to build the C-44 STA and reservoir is and has been tremendous. In spite of one’s political affiliations or the project itself, we must recognize those who have recently helped ensure the success of the project: the SFWMD, the ACOE, Senator Joe Negron, Governor Scott, Congressman Murphy, the Martin County Commission and the public. I am sure there are many others that I do not know. This gigantic project has taken many years and has been no easy feat. Kudos to the decades of people who have worked to make this first step of the intake canal possible. I recognize your efforts.
Yes it is good to be positive, the C-44 STA and Reservoir is a great start, but it is important to also realize that the resovoir will hold about 50,000 acre feet of water. During some storm seasons we get much more than that just from the C-44 basin alone, and that is NOT counting releases from Lake Okeechobee.
We have a lot more work to do, to get to where we want to be, but finally we are beginning to SEE RESULTS of something getting built to help improve water quality, and that is something more than Martin County has ever seen before in its long fight to save its treasured St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
Video C-44 Project (http://www.tmba.tv/broadcastanimation/everglades-restoration/everglades-restoration/)
SFWMD WRAC 2006 presentation C-44 STA/R. (https://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_wrac/portlet_subtab_wrac_archive_reportsdocs/tab772049/wrac_090606_c44_ray.pdf)