-A bit overwhelmed, Okee reviews the ACOE’s Integrated Delivery Schedule As the final days of 2021 come to a close, it is natural to be asking: “what is in line for 2022?” And although the world may seem as confusing as ever, and trying to read the Army Corp of Engineers’ -“List of Things to Do 2021 – that will be followed in 2022,” known formally as the “IDS,” or Integrated Delivery Schedule,”- impossible – things are looking really good for water.
Historic funding is in place for Everglades restoration, and a lot of that work will be happening right here at home in Martin and St Lucie Counties. There have been a few ups and downs, but now the IDS looks more favorable than ever.
Today, I am going to hone in on two areas of the IDS. The first, Indian River Lagoon South, that county commissions are owed the most thanks for their leadership; and the EAA Reservoir, that the River Movement of the Lost Summer of 2013, with the leadership of Senate President Joe Negron, made happen.
When these two major projects are fully completed, the St Luice River/Indian River Lagoon will have an opportunity to heal. As a postscript, I must mention some of my readers have said I appear to be completely “sold by the engineering – the problem that got us where we are in the first place.” And I must say, that is not the case. I agree, engineering alone is not enough. We all must do our part on our own postage stamp of land. These postage stamps add up to millions of acres and they all flow to the river. A great book about this is called “Nature’s Best Hope” A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard, by Douglas W. Tallamy. Fixing Florida is a team sport and must include everybody!
So, back to our engineering team of the Army Corp of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District’s CERP or Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, let’s take a look. If you are like most people, when you look at this long list your eyes glaze over. So let’s zoom in.
The green area, two sections down, includes Indian River Lagoon South. This is a huge project that includes both Martin and St Lucie counties and the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. When we peruse the green section, we see C-44 Reservoir; C-23/C-24 Reservoir; and C-25 Reservoir. Other major factors listed such as Storm Water Treatment Areas, an Interconnect Canal, Natural Water Quality Storage, Muck Removal, and Artificial Habitat Creation are also broken out. For simplicity, I will focus on the reservoirs as all else accompanies them.
You can study the entire list to see when the project goal of completion falls. All is before 2031. Mind you these projects are gigantic and complex. Like nothing else in the entire world. The C-44 Reservoir, the southern project of Indian River Lagoon South, in Martin County, went on line just recently as the first major completed CERP project. Incredible! Now to get C-23/C-24 and C-25- the rest of “Indian River Lagoon South-” to the finish line!
INDIAN RIVER LAGOON SOUTH, PART OF CERP -LEARN MORE BELOW.
The rest of IRLS that will be completed
C. IRLS C-25 Reservoir (SFWMD completes land purchase 2021)
The next section to focus on is the forth section down in a cream color; it includes the EAA Reservoir that is located south of Lake Okeechobee near the southern part of Palm Beach County. This project is dear to my heart as this is why I entered the fight, in 2008, in the first place. Sending more water south is the best way to send less water to the estuaries and open up the system to get water south to the Everglades as Nature would have…
Below we see different components of the EAA Reservoir; it too, is planned to be complete by 2031. 2031 may seem a long way from 2022, but in CERP time, it is “tomorrow.”
We must continue to fight in 2022 and beyond to keep this IDS “as-is” and complete these projects. In the meanwhile, please make your yard a conservation area. Individually and collectively, there are many reasons to be optimistic in 2022 about Florida’s Water Future.
FLOW AFTER CERP: