Why #SupportJoeNegron ‘s EAA Reservoir? Because it Should Have Already Been Built! SLR/IR

Image 1-8-17 at 3.50 PM.jpg
CEPP, 2000.
“A1” Reservoir was never built but rather the A1 Flow Equalization Basin instead

In my opinion, one should support Senator Negron’s controversial land purchase to build an EAA Reservoir, because the Reservoir should have already been built. It is a project that has been expected for almost two decades.

A summary–

Due to water quality lawsuits against sugarcane growers, during the 1980s and 90s, the State of Florida had to build six Storm Water Treatment Areas to clean runoff water using Everglades Agricultural Area land, taking valuable sugarcane out of production. (Orange shows STAs) Unfortunately, the industry brought this upon itself as for many years its water runoff had been polluting Everglades National Park and Tribal Lands.


The problem was so bad, that on top of the Stormwater Treatments Areas, Congress appropriated the beginnings of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Yes, “CERP” has a plan for  “EAA Storage.” A Reservoir, to be the heart of clean water flowing south. (See 4 down left of image below)  CERP (https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/cerp.htm)

Ev. Restoration.gov:

At the beginning of CERP it was determined that the Reservoir/s were to be built near Stormwater Treatment Areas between the Miami and New River Canals. Although they tried, the SFWMD and ACOE never got very far building the Reservoir/s and, you’ll notice “EAA Storage” is still listed on the ACOE calendar of projects, scheduled to begin in 2021. (http://evergladesrestoration.gov/content/cepp/meetings/012512/Recap_EAA_Reservoirs.pdf)

This shows an area of the EAA Reservoir/s proposed between the Miami and New River Canals.

“Why?” You might ask, “didn’t the EAA Reservoir/s get built ?”

ACOE’s IDS or Schedule of Projects: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/Integrated-Delivery-Schedule/

Close up of latest ACOE IDS schedule. EAA Storage in white.

The Reservoir/s did not get built because Gov. Charlie Crist’s proposed an idea of US Sugar’s to purchase all of United States Sugar Corporation’s land. This did not work out, induced a halt to the building of the Reservoir, and caused great discord with the Water Management Districts and the state Legislature.  The Great Recession also made the full purchase very difficult.(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/us/08everglades.html)(http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2009-09-11/news/0909100559_1_everglades-restoration-reservoir-construction-reservoir-project)

Then on top of the US Sugar and the Recession situation, a Federal law suit that had been dragging on for years was settled and really changed things for the Reservoir/s. In 2010, Governor Rick Scott, “negotiated” a long-standing EPA law suit agreeing that the state of Florida would build more water quality projects to clean sugarcane runoff in the EAA that continued to destroy fauna and pollute Everglades National Park. This “fix” became known as “Restoration Strategies.”(https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/restoration-strategies)

Restoration Strategies supplanted CERP’s unfinished EAA Reservoir, building a Flow Equalization Basin instead. Mind you, a shallow treatment area is not a true Reservoir.(https://www.northstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SFWMD-EAA-A-1-Flow-Equalization-Basin.pdf)

Now for one last thing…

Just recently, in December of 2016, Congress authorized CEPP. CEPP consist of  six components of CERP mentioned earlier. One of CEPP’s components is the “EAA Reservoir.” This sounds great, but….

CEPP, if appropriated, will not build a Reservoir but yet another Flow Equalization Basin to be located right next to Restoration Strategy’s “A1 Flow Equalization Basin.” This new Flow Equalization Basin will be called the “The A2.” (http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/Central-Everglades-Planning-Project/)

So in conclusion, neither Restoration Strategies nor CEPP will provide the Reservoir that was underway before everything changed in 2008, nor will their water come close to adding up to “a Reservoir.”

Supporting Joe Negron’s land purchase of 60,000 acres is the ground work for building a Reservoir that should have already been built!


Support the completion of the EAA Reservoir!


  • file-page1.jpgThe ACOE has EAA Storage on their construction schedule for 2021. By 2021 the estuaries will surly be dead.file-page1-2

6 thoughts on “Why #SupportJoeNegron ‘s EAA Reservoir? Because it Should Have Already Been Built! SLR/IR

  1. Thank you, Jacqui, keep up the good work. Thank you for your tireless efforts and for your voice to keep the focus on doing right by our rivers and the Everglades. Everyone wins when we respect our God-given natural resources.
    I say, #BuildItAndTheyWillCome – as in Kevin Costner’s film, “Field of Dreams”.

  2. Fantastic reporting ! Please keep up your positive work as we need you now more than ever. Phil Schwartz

  3. The fundamental problem remains that none of these “reservoirs” will be allowed to empty to the south as the WCAs are flooded during rain events….as the WCAs are not allowed to “send water south” under the Tamiami Trail in any substantial quantities from February to August… If the reservoirs are simple stagnant ponds, as they will be, why spend the billions of dollars to construct them?… The USACE ran models on what the POSITIVE impact to the St. Lucie and the Caloosahatchee discharges would be WHEN ALL OF CERP IS DONE…INCLUDING AT THE TIME,  THE DEEP WATER EAA RESERVOIRS AND THE ASR WELLS (AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT OF STORAGE) PLUS THE USDOI REMOVING THE 10 PPB P AND THE CSS SPARROW RESTRICTIONS AT THE TRAIL…..THE RESULTS:  NO MORE THAN A ONE THIRD REDUCTION IN HARMFUL DISCHARGES TO THE ST. LUCIE AND CALOOSAHATCHEE…! There are no current plans to come close to that optimum situation….And still no plans for the Structure that must be at the south end of the Lake to send the water out of the Lake at a rate to prevent fast rising to the 15.5 ft. maximum during a rain event…. The Negron Reservoir would be a waste of money….If it had been in place…and empty….the bombs to the estuaries in 2013 and 2016 would have occurred just the same as they did…..There is only one way to “stop the bombs” to the estuaries….dynamic flow all the way to Florida Bay without restriction during emergency rain events…..That was the historic path…and if it is not open, the excess water will go out the C- 43 and C- 44…as today…..as planned in the 1950’s. Newton

  4. Facebook Comments: JP Sasser Thom Rumberger, chairman of the Everglades Trust, a nonprofit overseeing the restoration, also disagrees with the judge’s ruling. “The reservoir is unnecessary and expensive,” he says. “It is our opinion and that of the scientists … that it’s more advantageous to have the property.” This is a direct quote from a news article where the environmental groups argued the construction be stopped and the money used to purchase US Sugar. Now they are back wanting the reservoir – cant seem to make up their minds.
    Like · Reply · 9 hrs
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch JP I understand your frustration with the back and forth over the years! I think most of us who got involved after 2008, in my case 2009, did not realize the dynamics of the 2008 USSC land purchase–That although obviously buying out USSC was a chance of a lifetime, it actually indirectly halted the building of the EAA Reservoir. Why? Because its purchase not go thorough as originally proposed meant both the Reservoir was lost and the land was never gained…. Ironically enough, when people say: “Finish the Projects” the EAA Reservoir is one of those projects they are referring to. Actually THE most important of the projects. In a twisted way we all want the same thing.
    Like · Reply · 6 hrs · Edited

    Blake Faulkner replied · 2 Replies · 23 mins
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook The EAA Reservoir was caught up in lawsuits for and against. Tribes and SFWMD for, Environmental groups against (ironic but true, perhaps if the same environmental groups had not sued to stop the EAA Reservoir then it might have been constructed!’). But, the lawsuits soon became moot when Katrina hit and the Federal regulations for levees for “deep water” reservoirs made the construction costs multiply beyond reason. Those regulations, and they were correctly installed for public safety, are what ACTUALLY caused the plans to be revised to a shallow water reservoir, the 16,000 acre FEB that is now filled and functioning north of STA 3/4. I might add CERP also had over 300 ASR wells to take about the same amount of water as the original EAA 1 Reservoir. They are not going to be installed either. That means two of the original “large storage” projects are currently dead. Unfortunately, Negron’s proposed reservoir is of no use as it would be a shallow reservoir and at best hold 180,000 acre feet. Four inches off the Lake. No way to empty it South as the WCAs are full as water is not allowed to empty them south from Feb. to August. Thus, $2.3 billion for a reservoir that would not have prevented the harmful discharges in either 2013 or 2016 is wasted tax payer money. The only way to “save” the estuaries is unrestricted flow All the Way to Florida Bay during emergency rain events. And, the costs to allow that flow that would empty the Lake the historic way is a fraction of the cost of a useless reservoir.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I have not seen any mention of how deep the 60,000 acre reservoir Negron is proposing to construct in the EAA would be. For some reason nobody is sharing important details like that with us. Usually the word ‘reservoir’ implies something deeper than 3 feet. If the idea was that it would only store 3 feet of water, then it would be called a ‘Flow Equalization Basin’ like the proposed A-1 reservoir became called after it was cancelled out as a reservoir in 2008.

    The Talisman Tract was a 50,000 acre agricultural parcel in the EAA that was owned by the St. Joe company and they were willing sellers in the 1990s when the state of Florida and SFWMD were willing buyers. That land and mill property had considerable soil contamination and the company had to pay some or all of the cleanup costs as part of the purchase deal. the eastern 1/3rd of the Talisman Tract became the 16,000 acre proposed A-1 reservoir and it was supposed to become a deep reservoir holding up to 12 feet of water.

    At some point after CERP (2000) was agreed to, the federal agencies under the George W, Bush administration began having problems with Governor Jeb Bush’s ideas about how CERP projects should be done. Someone in a federal agency that was part of the CERP federal-state cooperative/compromise agreement pointed out that the design of A-1 as a 16,000 acre deep water reservoir was not going to do anything to clean up Lake O. water before it was sent south. They also said it would probably end up being full of toxic blue-green algae. That and Jeb Bush’s arrogance when he appeared before Congress to get the federal government to see things his way…led to the break down in cooperation and communication between the feds under President George W, Bush and the Jeb Bush state government administration. That’s when CERP progress ground to a halt.

    So Jeb Bush decided he didn’t need the feds. He decided that Florida would do environmental restoration stuff on their own. There was a whole list of projects started under Jeb’s Acceler8 concept. And the A-1 deep reservoir was one of them.

    There were also 2 Palm Beach County commissioners who got involved in some shady land dealings over A-1 (or connected land) and they were indicted and convicted for corruption. But planning and construction of A-1 continued until 2008 when Jeb Bush was gone and Charlie Crist was the new governor and made that surprising land buying deal with US Sugar Corp.

    If only George W. Bush hadn’t crashed the economy in 2008, that deal to purchase all 183,000 acres of U.S. Sugar, at terms very favorable to them (regarding land values then), would have happened. As it played out, due to state revenue constraints Charlie Crist had to work out a revised deal with U.S. Sugar that was finally signed in 2010 and gave Florida, when it had the money, a chance to buy up to 180,000 acres of US Sugar land in the EAA over a period of 10 years. With incremental purchase options at set deadlines along the way.

    We all know what Governor Rick Scott decided to do with those several incremental purchase options by now. We still have until October 2020 to act on the final option in the Charlie Crist-US Sugar deal of 2010.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Keep in mind that the 3400 acre reservoir being constructed in Martin County east of Indiantown as part of the Indian River Lagoon South project under CERP…is going to have dikes that can contain 15 feet of water. That’s 12 feet of stormwater/C-44 basin runoff storage on top of a 3 foot dry season maintenance depth. A 1000+ acre shallow water STA will be connected to that storage area. The STA will clean the stored water of its nutrients using aquatic plants as filters to take up the nutrients…like the STAs in the EAA do now before water is sent south to the WCAs and ENP.

    So…if the 60,000 acre Negron reservoir was built like the 3400 acre C-44 reservoir is being built and if it also was constructed with subdivided interior ‘cells’…it could hold a lot more than 3 feet of water storage. And it wouldn’t be any more dangerous than the 3400 acre C-44 reservoir if some storm event caused a breach in some part of the perimeter dike. Say it had 10 ‘compartments’ inside. Say some of those compartments were used as shallow FEBs & STAs instead of deep water (8-10 feet?) storage. Use some imagination.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook The problem with your “cell” idea is simply the billions of dollars of cost. The process just to do CERP work can take a decade with the relatively modest cost. The C 44 project is extremely expensive for the level of storage and cleaning. Also, it is too small to handle large rain events and the local runoff.
    Like · Reply · 3 hrs
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Where did you get the idea that the Negron reservoir concept would only store 3 feet of water? If you have a link to any source of such information, please share it with me. So many people are saying things they just make up or choose to leave out important details or keep repeating things that are not so…Makes me wonder why they do that.
    Like · Reply · 2 hrs
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook Blake…shallow water reservoirs are usually managed up to about four feet deep…and they are never empty…and it rains of them as well as the areas draining into them…You can really never count on more than 3 to 4 feet of new water being “stored”….I spend a lot of time in WCA 1 (LOXNWR), WCA 2 and WCA 3..as well as the STAs..and now looking at public access opportunities to the new 16,000 acre FEB…None of these ever has room for more than about 3 feet of new water….and often less…especially during the wet season when the “rain evens” normally hit….Even the “deep water” C- 43 Reservoir will be mostly filled to be sure there is water available to keep the Caloosahatchee “fresh” during dry times…and the dry season…this water will be put in the C- 43 Reservoir early in the wet season…and it will be mostly full (or it would be useless if there was a drought…for the purpose it was constructed)…There is not going to be much room for “storage”…even in a deep reservoir…Same situation with the C- 44 in another way…the C-44 will be full of local runoff to be fed in the STA there…not going to help reduce the excessive flows from the Lake a lot…The hard fact is….We cannot store ourselves out of the discharges….we have to have flow to sea….and there are three ways “to sea”…..one of them….the historic one is artificially blocked by the US Dept. of Interior…and US Justice Dept……to Florida Bay
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 mins
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Once again gentlemen I thank you.
    Like · Reply · Just nowJacqui Thurlow-Lippisch I wrote this awhile back–felt like sharing. Perhaps some part of this is what Newton Newton Earl Cook was referring to: ..https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/07/29/the-history-the-future-of-plan-6-and-sending-water-south-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/Blake Faulkner Why would the Caloosahatchie River need to be kept ‘fresh’ during the dry times? Below the Franklin Locks the Caloosahatchie is tidally influenced and it is part of an estuary like the St. Lucie River is below the St. Lucie Locks. Inland from both lock…See More
    Like · Reply · 18 hrs
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook No. The C 43 reservoir is for one reason. To supply fresh water to the Caloosahatchee during drought when no water can be spared from Lake O to keep the salt water intrusion from damaging the estuary. You must understand, The ongoing problem out the C …See More
    Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Can you show me ANYthing in an article that supports what you’re saying about the Caloosahatchie River Newton? I guess if you do not I will just find one myself that either confirms or refutes what you said. And I’ll share that here. OK then.
    Like · Reply · 16 hrs
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook Having attended the SFWMD WRAC and Gov. Board meetings where the plans for these projects are discussed as Infiniti you would know the purposes of each one in the scheme. The C 43 project was lobbied for to “save the Caloosahatchee estuary” from salt water intrusion when the USACE would not send any Lake water out due to drought.
    Like · Reply · 16 hrs
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner OK Newton…you are correct. I am not familiar with the historical details of the Caloosahatchie River and its hydrological system and the local drainage basin on that side of Lake O. I found a nice source that made me a lot more aware of the need to r…See More
    Like · Reply · 15 hrs
    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I can see now why it’s not such an easy place for panthers to get across anymore. One place panthers have been documented crossing is about halfway between LaBelle and the Ortona Locks……….http://floridawildlifecorridor.org/…/caloosahatchee…/

    Caloosahatchee Ecoscape
    As the name suggests, the Big Cypress to Fisheating Creek Critical Linkage connects Big…
    Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 15 hrs
    Newton Earl Cook
    Newton Earl Cook They may cross but they will not survive as long as the Federal Government continues to punish any landowners with Panthers on their properties and has a totally unrealistic target of over 250 Panthers in three habitats, none of which is large enough to naturally carry 90 or so cats.

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