Press Release Apr 22, 2016

On Earth Day, Everglades National Park Gets Critical Freshwater with Additional Bridging of Tamiami Trail

Major milestone for restoring America’s Everglades with the kickoff of an additional 2.6 miles of bridging on Tamiami Trail.

Background: Everglades National Park is one of the largest wetlands in the world, protecting 1.5 million acres of subtropical wilderness in South Florida. The road connecting Miami’s urban core to the nearby national park is known as Tamiami Trail. Historically, this road has served as a physical barrier, blocking critical freshwater flowing from Lake Okeechobee along its natural path south, choking Everglades National Park and Florida Bay of desperately needed freshwater.

Statement by John Adornato, Sun Coast Senior Director, National Parks Conservation Association

“Today, on Earth Day, we celebrate another major milestone in fully restoring America’s Everglades with the kickoff of an additional 2.6 miles of bridging on Tamiami Trail. The push for bridging Tamiami Trail has been a priority for National Parks Conservation Association, the Department of Interior, Congress, and many partner organizations throughout the community for more than a decade, and is a key component to sending freshwater south. Elevating Tamiami Trail will allow freshwater to flow under the road, back into Everglades National Park and out to Florida Bay, as it was meant to be.

“With the bridging completed so far, water is flowing back to the park, just as it did nearly 100 years ago before the road blocked its way. And today’s progress brings us closer to the completion of the full 6.5 miles of bridging along Tamiami Trail.

“Sending water south is the only way we can hope to restore Everglades National Park and solve Florida’s water crisis. Progress is being made and must continue. Once the Central Everglades Project is authorized by Congress, we can start building the needed delivery structure to get more water under the bridge. We call upon federal and state agencies to initiate planning for storage, treatment, and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee so we can continue to work together to stop the harmful discharges to our estuaries and keep sending the water south.

“As we celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial year, let’s continue to invest in our most important landscapes to ensure that generations of Americans can be inspired and excited by the majesty of America’s Everglades, and all of our national parks, now and for generations to come.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.