Phase 2 of Spreader Swales Pilot to Commence
Contact: Project Management Branch Chief - Dave Sikkema, 305-224-4214
Contact: Media Inquiries - Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Homestead, Florida: Everglades National Park, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, is actively pursuing implementation of the Modified Water Deliveries Project. Authorized in 1989 as part of the Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act, the project's purpose is to improve water deliveries to Everglades National Park. One component of this project requires making modifications to the Tamiami Trail (U.S. Highway 41) to allow for improved quantity, timing, and distribution of flow into Northeast Shark River Slough.
Spreader swales have been proposed as a strategy for improving flows into the park from existing culverts beneath Tamiami Trail. Due to some uncertainty regarding the level of benefit that would be provided by their construction, Everglades National Park, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is implementing a pilot project to gauge the potential efficacy of spreader swales. The preferred alternative selected in the 2008 Environmental Assessment specified a two-step, adaptive management approach to implementation.
The initial phase of the pilot project involved the development of a numerical hydrologic model that simulated the effects of spreaders swales at two culverts along Tamiami Trail. Results of this study were presented early in 2010 and indicated potential increases of flow sufficient to warrant further study. Consequently, Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball has decided to implement the next phase of the investigation.
During the second phase of the pilot project, two spreader swales will be constructed and monitored as field tests to provide greater information on their efficacy. As specified in the Environmental Assessment, each spreader swale will be 1000 feet in length with a bottom width of 30 feet. Currently, it is anticipated that construction of the swales will begin in late Summer and be completed by late Fall.
Did You Know?
The endangered Florida Panther is closely monitored in Everglades National Park by aircraft and radio collars. Information about territory, movement, and food preference is critical in managing the future of this remarkable animal.