Picayune Strand Restoration Project
The Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PRSP) will restore over 55,000 acres of native Florida wetlands and uplands on Florida’s Southwest coast. The project is expected to result in improved flows of water into Collier Seminole State Park, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Crews are actively removing crumbling roads, plugging canals, and building pump stations to restore the natural sheet flow of water, and in turn attract more wildlife and vegetation. The area will be greatly enhanced for fish and wildlife resources, including threatened and endangered species such as the Florida Panther. Aquifer recharge will also be improved to protect water supply and prevent saltwater intrusion.
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are working to complete this project, which is a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). When complete, the PSRP will help restore the ecosystem connectivity of the region.
Read more about the SFWMD’s efforts to advance Everglades restoration and improve water quality in Florida.
Through a collaboration between SFWMD and the USACE, the PSRP will restore more than 55,000 acres of native Florida wetland and uplands. Restoration efforts will involve construction of three pump stations, plugging approximately 48 miles of canals and removing 285 miles of deteriorating roads and pavements. The benefits of the PSRP will also help to improve:
- Pre-drainage watershed flow pattern to a sheet flow condition
- Upland/wetland habitat in the watershed
- Increased groundwater levels
- Habitat for endangered/threatened species (Florida panther, wood stork)
- Fire management
- Water quality of coastal estuaries by moderating the large salinity fluctuations caused by point source discharge of canals
Three pump stations to direct fresh water to drained wetlands and maintain current flood protection for communities north of I-75:
- Merritt – 810 cfs
- Faka Union – 2650 cfs
- Miller – 1250 cfs
Habitat restoration removal of barriers to control outflow and mimic historic flow of water:
- Plugging of 42 miles of canals
- Removal of 285 miles of roads
- Removal of 62 miles of tram roads
Southwest Protection Feature levee provides flood protection for existing agricultural and residential properties.
Manatee mitigation feature to provide warm water refugia for manatees that became dependent on the flows from Faka Union Canal.
|Contract Award Date||Expected Completion|
|Miller Tram & Road Removal||September 2019||December 2021|
Southwest Protection Feature
|Levee||September 2020||October 2023|
|Conveyance Features||September 2020||October 2023|
|Faka Union Canal|
|Spoil Clearing||September 2020||October 2023|
|Plugging Upper 3 mi.||Work done by USACE staff||October 2021|
SFWMD recently completed a Picayune Strand Water Quality Feasibility study to identify opportunities to improve water quality in the Picayune Watershed in Collier County. The study reviewed existing data, evaluated nutrient inflow levels and recommended treatment technologies.
The Water Quality Feasibility Study is not a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
Project Implementation Report
The Project Implementation Report shows the expected project benefits that include restoration of historic wetland communities, sheet flow towards the coastal estuaries, reduction of harmful surge flows through the Faka Union Canal into Faka Union Bay, improved freshwater overland flow and seepage into other bays of the Ten Thousand Islands Region, improved aquifer recharge, decreased frequency and intensity of forest fires, improved habitat for fish and wildlife and threatened and endangered species, reduced invasion of exotic species, and increased spatial extent of wetlands.
This Report integrated the contents of an Environmental Impact Statement with the project planning report, and includes an Operations Plan for the proposed structures and a long term Monitoring Plan to assure project ecosystem benefits are obtained.