Replacement of Failed Dams on the Homestead and East Cape Canals
The NPS is planning to use ARRA (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act)funding to replace the failed dams on the East Cape Extension and Homestead Canals within the Cape Sable area of Everglades National Park. The Homestead and East Cape Canals were dug in the 1920s and blocked with plugs in 1960 and 1997 to prevent saltwater intrusion into interior Cape Sable marshes.
The new canal plugs will provide sustainable solutions to issues associated with saltwater intrusion in and degradation of freshwater and brackish marshes north of the Cape Sable 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 new dams will each have a dock and canoe ramp to facilitate non-motorized access to wilderness north of the marl ridge. The new dams are expected to reduce erosion and improve crocodile and wading bird habitat on Cape Sable.
Construction of the canal plugs is scheduled to begin October 1, 2010 and conclude by March 31, 2011. Closures will affect the Homestead Canal and East Cape Canal areas in the park.