The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes form the headwaters of America’s Everglades, and the Kissimmee River Restoration Project is vital to restoring the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.
Construction on the Kissimmee River Restoration Project was completed in 2021, making it one of the largest successful restoration projects in history. This milestone set the stage for the phased implementation of a new regulation schedule to manage the water levels in the Kissimmee River and the surrounding lakes.
Did you know the Kissimmee River Headwaters Revitalization Schedule is the last piece of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project? The new Headwaters Revitalization Schedule will be implemented in phases to hold more water in Lakes Kissimmee, Cypress and Hatchineha to achieve the benefits of restoration and allow historic flows to the Kissimmee River while supporting flood protection for residents.
The SFWMD hosted two Open House meetings to share information about the gradual implementation of the new Headwaters Revitalization Schedule. Public and stakeholder input in the development and adoption of a new water management plan is important, and we thank everyone who participated in the Open House meetings and provided valuable input.
The Headwaters Revitalization Schedule is planned to be implemented in phases starting with Increment 1 in 2024 to allow successively increased water storage capacity in the Headwaters Lakes (Lakes Kissimmee, Cypress and Hatchineha).
Increment 1 details include:
- Increment 1 is a deviation to the current Interim Regulation Schedule.
- Development started in 2021 and it is anticipated to be approved in 2024.
- Increment 1 proposes raising the regulation schedule elevation approximately 0.5 feet higher than the current regulation schedule in summer and winter.
- After Increment 1 is approved and implemented, it will remain in effect until a subsequent increment is implemented, or upon implementation of the full Headwaters Revitalization Schedule, currently projected for 2026.
The SFWMD will continue to engage with the public and stakeholders on this important project. We encourage you to follow the SFWMD on our social media channels for the latest news on Everglades restoration.