National Parks Group Says Tamiami Trail Bridge Groundbreaking a Good Start for Everglades Restoration

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 1, 2009
Contact:   Sara Fain, Everglades Restoration Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 305.546.6689


National Parks Group Says Tamiami Trail Bridge Groundbreaking a Good Start for Everglades Restoration

Hollywood, FL – This week, on December 4, 2009, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for the groundbreaking of a one-mile bridge for the Tamiami Trail portion of the Modified Water Deliveries project. This project, 20 years in the making, aims to restore flows through Everglades National Park and into Florida Bay.  The project is an important step towards restoring unimpeded water flows into Northeast Shark River Slough, the historic shallow river that serves as the main source of water for the park and Florida Bay.

“We applaud the efforts of the federal government for starting the process of bridging Tamiami Trail,” said Sara Fain, NPCA Everglades Restoration Program Manager. “However, this is only the beginning and we can’t stop here. Ten miles of road continues to block water from reaching the park, which is the lifeblood of the Everglades.”

While the one-mile bridge is a long way from actually restoring the Everglades, it is a step in the right direction, and can be built upon in the second phase of Tamiami Trail bridging.  Science shows that the only way to meaningfully restore Everglades National Park and the wildlife it protects is to build a series of bridges along the 11 miles of Tamiami Trail that cuts through Northeast Shark River Slough. 

The National Park Service (NPS) is currently developing a plan to build additional bridges along this 11-mile stretch that blocks flows into Everglades National Park. The next project will complement this one-mile bridge that is breaking ground this week. By including the greatest amount of bridging possible, this project allows water managers to take full advantage of the restoration benefits to be provided from the state of Florida’s recent River of Grass land acquisition in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). 

“We need a sustained commitment now from both the federal government and the state of Florida to make sure we develop, fund, and implement the next steps for modifying Tamiami Trail,” said Fain. “Only then can water once again flow into Northeast Shark River Slough, as it once did, to re-create the historic River of Grass.”

The Tamiami Trail bridge groundbreaking will take place on Friday at 1:30 p.m. on Tamiami Trail, approximately 1 mile west of SW 177th Ave.

NPCA will be tweeting live from the event; follow us on Twitter at @NPCA. To arrange an interview in advance with NPCA, please contact Sara Fain at 305.546.6689. For more information, please click here.

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