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Tamiami Trail Bridge: Our First Plan To Restore The Everglades

August 13, 2010 By Gus in  | 8 Comments

With this heartfelt speech, President Harry Truman formally dedicated Everglades National Park, on December 6, 1947.

Granting the Everglades “National Park” status came just in time. For the previous century, the government had been doing everything possible to drain Florida’s lower peninsula. Back then, most people felt the area was little more than a swampy wasteland. In the 1930’s, Florida Legislators actually declared a war on water, they wanted it harnessed, tamed, and contained.

You might think I am exaggerating for dramatic effect, but it’s true. Listen to a recording of a state official addressing the legislature.

Over the span of 100 years, 1,500 miles of canals were constructed solely for this purpose. Completed in the 1950’s, this massive network of waterways, gates, levees, and pump stations provided flood control and water supply to 6 million people and 1 million acres of farmland—but this free water came at a price—the Everglades suffered in turn. The natural flowing band of water was fragmented.

The seasonal water changes that nurtured much of the area’s wildlife gave way to man-controlled water management.

Thankfully, our federal government has a plan to fix it…

... a 30-year journey to restore the Florida Everglades.

Recognizing the Everglades ecosystem is in peril, the U.S. Congress passed the Everglades Restoration Plan. This multi billion dollar plan promises to be one of the largest restoration efforts ever undertaken. Over a 30 year time frame, the restoration will attempt to replicate the natural distribution of water to what remains of the Everglades.

The Tamiami Trail Bridge Project

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One of the first restoration projects is right in Miami’s backyard. If you drive down Tamiami Trail, approximately 2 miles west of Krome Avenue, the Army Corps of Engineers is building a 1 mile bridge to replace a section of road that is damming up Shark River Slough. The bridge will allow more water flow south in to the park, and is scheduled for completion in December of 2013.

image

To find out more about the Tamiami Trail Bridge Project, download the fact sheet (PDF), or visit the website, EvergaldesPlan.com.

Want To Go Sightseeing With Us?

Join Miami Tour Company on an Everglades Tour From Miami. On the way to Gator Park, we drive down Tamiami Trail, right past where they are building the bridge.

The Everglades Eco Adventure was written with respect for the Everglades at the forefront, and provides a tremendous amount of information about the wildlife, weather, the National Park, and what our government is doing to restore the ecosystem.

Tours departs daily at 10:00 AM.

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Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

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8 Comments on

"Tamiami Trail Bridge: Our First Plan To Restore The Everglades"

rk says:

Interesting. Is there a link to the “Everglades Eco Adventure”, and how does it differ from the “Everglades Tour from Miami”?

I haven’t read the plan yet, but I would guess they’ll need a lot more than just one bridge.

Posted on 08/13/2010 at 6:03 PM

Gus says:

Thanks for commenting, rk. You can find a list of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects here:

http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/projects/project_list.aspx

Sorry for the confusion with the tour name, they’re one in the same.

Posted on 08/13/2010 at 6:36 PM

bill says:

Here’s a link to the Miami News coverage of the park’s dedication from Dec 7, 1947 -

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=OEcuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XNYFAAAAIBAJ&dq=trumaneverglades&pg=2682,3543005

Posted on 08/13/2010 at 8:09 PM

MiamiCondoShop says:

This 30-year journey to restore the everglades is a long time coming. Actually, a number of environmental groups have embarked on the massive undertaking but obviously it requires sufficient funding. It’s about time the government took notice and Florida has taken the lead in implementing what has been regarded as the largest environmental restoration project of its kind in history. I believe the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is being funded and managed through a 50-50 partnership between the state and federal governments to restore the renowned River of Grass. The project’s price tag is reportedly $10.9 billion.  It’s just nice to know that the Everglades now has a chance to remain healthy in the future.

Posted on 08/15/2010 at 6:45 PM

Doug says:

It’s great to see that they’re taking steps to restore the Everglades.  I hope it’s not too late!

Posted on 08/16/2010 at 1:22 AM

John Hopkins says:

What would make that bridge, and others that may follow it, really cool is if they also provided for a pathway alongside so hikers and bicyclists can safely cross the Everglades, too.  This will be essential if the planned River of Grass Greenway (between Naples and Miami’s western suburbs) is ever to become reality.

Posted on 08/19/2010 at 1:45 PM

Kelly Charles says:

This is a great step in the right direction from Florida - there are so many other environmental things that they could educate people on, and raise awareness of too.  Let’s hope we start to see more positive changes!

Posted on 08/20/2010 at 9:10 PM

John Hopkins says:

By the way, here’s where to learn more about the proposed River of Grass Greenway that I mentioned: http://www.evergladesrogg.org/

Posted on 08/21/2010 at 11:36 AM

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