C-44 Reservoir/STA Project, Contract No. 2 (Environmental)
In 2000, Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) with the intent of restoring, preserving, and protecting the prized, unique ecosystem in south Florida, while also providing for the water supply and flood protection necessary for the area’s millions of residents and businesses. Divided into workable areas by a number of stakeholders, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), one area immediately identified as requiring restoration was the Indian River Lagoon System and its St. Lucie Estuary, an area known for more than 4,000 plant and animal species. While an estuary is characterized by its brackish water serving as a transition between fresh water rivers and the ocean, the St. Lucie Estuary was being inundated with an increasing amount of fresh water and often water too rich in nutrients for the species living in its waters.
Barnard is working with the USACE to address these challenges by constructing the C-44 Reservoir Project, Contract No. 2. This new 3,500-acre reservoir will impound up to 50,600 acre-feet of water, capturing runoff and controlling the freshwater discharges into the St. Lucie Estuary. The reservoir and accompanying canal and Stormwater Treatment Area system will enhance the environment by restoring the salinity of the water and providing a settling area for excess nutrients in the water arriving from Lake Okeechobee prior to releasing the fresh water into the estuary.
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