Park seeks public comment on Environmental Assessment for Cape Sable Plugs Restoration Phase II Project

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Date: April 26, 2016
Contact: Allyson Gantt, 305-242-7714
Contact: Amy Renshaw, 305-224-4264

HOMESTEAD, Florida: Everglades National Park announces the release of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cape Sable Plugs Restoration Phase II Project. The EA is available for review and comment at the NPS website https://parkplanning.nps.gov/Cape_Sable_Plugs_EA.

The National Park Service (NPS) proposes to replace a failed plug on the Raulerson Canal and repair the plugs on House and Slagle Ditches in the Cape Sable area of the Park. This project is intended to reestablish the natural function of the marl ridge and restore natural ecological processes to the Cape Sable region by eliminating the unnatural exchange of salt and freshwater through man‐made canals.

The EA evaluates two action alternatives for the Raulerson Canal and two action alternatives at House and Slagle Ditches, along with a no-action alternative at each site.  

Alternative 2 is the environmentally preferable alternative and the NPS preferred alternative at Slagle and House Ditches. This alternative involves backfilling the eroded plug areas with limestone fill to reconstruct their original cross-section and profile. At Slagle Ditch, the NPS would repair the eroded plug which is currently leaking and considered to be near failure. At House Ditch, the NPS would monitor the condition of the plug and should it begin leaking, repair it with the same methods used at Slagle Ditch.

Alternative 4A is the environmentally preferable alternative and the NPS preferred alternative at Raulerson Canal. Under this alternative, two sheet pile walls would be constructed in the canal approximately 100 feet apart. The area between the walls would be filled with sand and covered with a surface that would support native vegetation to reduce the potential for erosion. Sheet pile wingwalls would be installed in all four quadrants of the plug to deflect surface sheetflow away from the structure. Riprap or similar material would be placed along the plug walls and along the deflector wingwalls and canal banks to provide erosion protection. This engineering design has been tested and proven at the recently completed plugs at the East Cape Extension and Homestead Canals in the Cape Sable area.

Under both alternatives, the plugs would be designed for a 50-year life-cycle, the natural and cultural resources would be protected and safety hazards from the failed plug at Raulerson Canal would be removed. The plugs would also prevent illegal motorized boat entry into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness Area.

The NPS encourages public participation in the planning process. Written comments will be accepted throughMay 27thand may be entered on the project website at the link below. Comments may also be mailed to the address below:  

South Florida Natural Resources Center
Everglades National Park
Attn: Amy Renshaw, Cape Sable Phase II EA
950 N. Krome Ave,
Homestead, FL 33030

https://parkplanning.nps.gov/Cape_Sable_Plugs_EA

This and other park news releases are available at https://www.nps.gov/ever/parknews/newsreleases.htm

More information on Everglades National Park can be found on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/ever

-NPS-



Last updated: April 26, 2016

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