HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. - Today, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) joined federal, state and local officials to celebrate the completion of a new pump station for the Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Project in Hendry County. The massive pump station will move water from the Caloosahatchee River (C-43 Canal) into an 18-square-mile reservoir and reduce harmful flows of water from reaching the downstream Caloosahatchee Estuary. The reservoir is expected to begin initial operations in 2025.
"Today is another massive step forward to further improve our waters here in Southwest Florida and support the restoration of America's Everglades," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman and Sanibel resident Chauncey Goss. "Southwest Florida knows how important our water quality is to our way of life, our estuary, and our local economy. Once this reservoir comes online, there will be billions of gallons of water storage available that will protect the delicate balance of fresh and salt water in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. We're grateful for the Governor's leadership and support from the Florida Legislature to build Everglades restoration projects like this across South Florida. Projects like these protect our environment and enhance the resiliency of our water resources for decades to come. Finishing this pump station is a big step forward to making this reservoir a reality."
"The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir has been many years in the making, and today is a significant, historic milestone for this massive project,” said Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “The momentum we have seen for this project under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Simpson, as well as Governor Scott and Senate President Negron, is truly amazing. In recent years, we have seen many large-scale projects come on-line, with more in the works. To me, what really stands out about these projects are the partnerships that bring them across the finish line. Local, state, and federal partners in city and county government, the Legislature, Governor and Cabinet, Water Management District, Congressional Leadership, the Army Corps – the list goes on. Only by working together can we accomplish these monumental feats of engineering, planning and construction. It is truly a wonder."
“The Department of Environmental Protection is proud to celebrate the completion of the Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Pump Station today with our partners at the South Florida Water Management District,” said Adam Blalock, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. “Thanks to the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Legislature, we’re working across the state to implement projects that support our state’s water resources. Under the Governor’s leadership, Florida continues making record investments in protecting our natural resources and conserving our way of life in Florida. The Department stands ready to continue expediting Everglades restoration and resiliency projects to further protect the natural resources that make Florida so special.”
The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir is an 18-square-mile water storage project that provides water storage and supports healthy salinity levels in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. It will reduce harmful flows of water to the Caloosahatchee Estuary from Lake Okeechobee and the local watershed during the wet season and provide beneficial freshwater flows to the estuary during the dry season. It will hold approximately 170,000 acre-feet of water, which is around 55 billion gallons.
The new pump station, one of the largest pump stations in the state, is the main inflow structure for the Caloosahatchee Reservoir. It has the capability to move more than 650,000 gallons of water per minute from the Caloosahatchee River into the reservoir using four large pumps.
The reservoir also includes 19 miles of dam embankments, 15 miles of perimeter canals, 14 major water control structures and more. The remaining portions of the reservoir project are expected to be substantially complete by 2025.
Once online, the Caloosahatchee Reservoir will:
- Store excess freshwater from the local watershed and Lake Okeechobee before it can reach the downstream estuary.
- Help sustain a healthy nursery for fish in the estuary.
- Enhance the resiliency of our water resources.
In January 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 23-06 in Bonita Springs to support Everglades restoration and protect Florida's water resources. This order built on the success of Executive Order 19-12, which was signed in 2019 in Bonita Springs and also supported expedited Everglades restoration and water quality improvements. The SFWMD has celebrated more than 65 ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and major milestones on Everglades restoration and resiliency projects across Central and Southern Florida since January 2019.
The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Project is a key component of the joint state-federal Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the environment and make our water resources more resilient.