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WRDA 2007: Congress Authorizes the Indian River Lagoon-South (IRL-South), the Picayune Strand, and Site 1 Impoundment Projects

IRL-South Project. Congress authorizes the IRL-South Project to improve water quality in the St. Lucie Estuary and IRL.  The project includes four reservoirs (totaling 130,000 acre feet of storage), four STAs (totaling 8,700 acres), 90,000 acres of habitat restoration, muck removal from the north and south forks of the St. Lucie River, and redirection of water from the C-23/24 basin to the north fork of the river.

The first phase of the project (expected to be completed by 2020) is construction of the C-44 reservoir and an associated STA. Other project components have not yet received authorization from congress.

The Picayune Strand Project.  The Picayune Strand project is authorized by Congress and becomes the first CERP project under construction. The project seeks to restore more than 55,000 acres of wetlands and uplands in the former Golden Gates Estates planned residential community in southwest Florida. The development failed in the 1960s and the land was later purchased by the State of Florida in the 1980s.

Site 1 Impoundment Project.  Congress authorizes the Site 1 Impoundment Project to capture and store excess surface water runoff from the Hillsboro watershed as well as releases from the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Okeechobee.  These additional sources of water help to reduce water supply demands on the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.  Phase 1 of the project is now complete.

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