• Pa-Hay-okee Overlook

    Everglades

    National Park Florida

Cape Sable Environmental Assessment Available for Comment

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Date: June 3, 2009
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Dewitt Smith, 305-224-4218

Everglades National Park is pleased to announce the release of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cape Sable Canals Dam Restoration Project. This project is intended to provide sustainable solutions to issues associated with saltwater intrusion into and degradation of freshwater and brackish marshes north of the marl ridge; illegal motorized boat access into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness area; and unsafe conditions for motorized and non-motorized boaters at the dam sites.

The EA evaluates three action alternatives for the East Cape Extension Canal and five action alternatives for the Homestead Canal along with the no action alternatives for both dam sites.

The preferred alternative for the East Cape Extension Canal is Alternative D. Under this scenario, two sheetpile walls would be constructed approximately 100 feet apart. The area between the walls would be filled and planted with native vegetation to reduce the potential for erosion. Landward sheetpile wingwalls would be installed to deflect sheetflow away from the dams. Riprap would also be placed along the wingwalls and exposed canal banks to provide erosion resistance.

The preferred alternative for the Homestead Canal is Alternative D1. The plug would be constructed by installing two sets of geotubes approximately 100 feet apart. The area between the geotubes would be filled and planted with native vegetation to reduce the potential for erosion. Riprap would be used along exposed canal banks to provide erosion resistance.

Under both alternatives, the dams would function for a 50-year life-cycle, the natural and cultural resources would be protected and the safety hazards from the existing dam structures would be removed resulting in a positive visitor experience. The plugs would also help to prevent illegal motorized boat entry into the wilderness area. A portage would be installed to provide safe passage over the restored dams for non-motorized boaters (canoeists/kayakers).

Public comment:

The public is encouraged to view the EA and submit comments through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkId=374&projectId=23334&documentID=27603

Written comments should be mailed to:

Everglades National Park
Attention: DeWitt Smith – Cape Sable EA
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Copies of the EA may be requested by calling the park at 305-242-7700. If prompted by voice mail, press “2” at 1st prompt and “5” at 2nd prompt to leave mailing information. A limited number of paper and CD copies will be available after June 14th.

The comment period ends July 14, 2009.

For more information or questions, contact DeWitt Smith, Project Manager at 305-224-4218 or e-mail us

- NPS -

Did You Know?

Scenic View of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness

Everglades National Park protects the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. The wilderness area is named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was instrumental in creating the park, and who coined the phrase "River of Grass."