MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – State and local leaders officially broke ground on a project that aims to help restore the Florida Everglades and Biscayne Bay Tuesday in southern Miami-Dade County.
The group put shovels into the dirt at Black Point Park and Marina, south of Cutler Bay, as part of the final “Cutler Wetlands” component of the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project.
The project “will improve the health of Biscayne Bay and will aid in wetland rehydration - building coastal resiliency and improving water quality in this area of Miami-Dade County,” according to a state news release.
“This project is going to do more to restore the natural water flow to the bay through the Everglades to make sure that we can protect our clean water and we can protect our bay,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
It’s a project that’s two decades in the making.
“It will protect us against saltwater intrusion into our critical fresh water supply, the Biscayne Bay aquifer,” Levine Cava said. “It will increase resiliency against sea level rise, particularly in southern Miami Dade County. And we’re all about that. And it will restore an important wetland ecosystem.”
While hailing the project as an important step, officials said their work is far from over.
“Biscayne Bay is our crown jewel. It is our Mount Rushmore. It is our Central Park,” Charlie Martinez, a South Florida Water Management District board member, said. “We need to take care of it. And while this is a great project, it is not the final project.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for $3.5 billion for Everglades restoration over the next four years — $610 million for this year alone.
It’s the largest dollar amount that Florida’s ever seen for environmental restoration.
Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project official flyer: