The Remarkable Restoration of the Kissimmee River, a Modern Flyover

The Remarkable Restoration of the Kissimmee River, a Modern Flyover

Recently, I featured my brother Todd Thurlow’s extremely popular time capsule flight, “The Destruction of the Kissimmee River.” Today, I present the remarkable antithesis, “Restoration of the Kissimmee River.”

As Todd notes, Kissimmee restoration began in 1999 with phases 1 and 4 completed first. Phases 2 and 3 are expected to be completed by 2020. You will see as you travel up the winding river the long gash of the C-38 Canal backfilled with the same soils that were dug from its own flesh, and the winding oxbows, like capillaries, filling-up to come back to life!

Here’s a map to reference. Amazing! This restored habitat will help replenish wading bird communities and naturally filter water as it flows south to Lake Okeechobee rather than mainlining pollutants. My favorite shot comes at the end where an aerial view of gigantic dump trucks looks like a collection of children’s toys. We can now begin to grasp the scale of this massive project!

When we watch this video we know Ernest Lyons’ words “what men can do, they can undo,” is no longer just a saying, but a reality and we are empowered to do the same! Please click on image with arrow or link below. 

This video compares 1940 and 1999 aerials of the Kissimmee River with current Google Earth Imagery to show The Kissimmee River Restoration project, which began in 1999. Phases 1 and 4, at the northern end of the project, were completed in 2010. Phases 2 and 3, on the southern end, are expected to be completed in 2020. When finished, the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District will have restored 44 miles of winding river, over 12,000 acres of wetlands and 40 square miles of floodplain. ~Todd Thurlow

(Click link to play “Restoration of the Kissimmee River”

13 thoughts on “The Remarkable Restoration of the Kissimmee River, a Modern Flyover

  1. Thank you Tod & Jacqui!!! It would nice to have Dr. Gary Goforth test the N & P levels after the restoration is complete to see what the cleansing impact has been to the agricultural runoff.

  2. This makes me so happy, it’s ridiculous. Thank you, thank you to everyone making it happen. Dumb idea to turn that beautiful natural river into a cement gutter.

  3. Imagine how much herbicides and mosquito poison it will take to nake this new water like all our other dead lakes.

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