The Oct. 3 article R ains raise water levels throughout South Florida underscores why we must strengthen the restoration efforts for America’s Everglades. The unnatural water flow system currently in place endangers birds, wildlife, the entire ecosystem and the millions of people who depend upon it for recreation and drinking water.
As water managers scramble to operate drainage gates that send massive unnatural flows of water into canals and fragile coastal estuaries, deer and other wildlife are suffering in the Central Everglades. The current water management system doesn’t allow water to move south fast enough.
As the article correctly highlights, Tamiami Trail, a roadway that acts like a dam, serves as a major barrier and blocks this critical water flow back to its natural path south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. Thankfully, after years of delays, construction on the one-mile bridge is under way; however, additional bridging of Tamiami Trail must be constructed to better manage excessive water flows in the future.
The Obama administration has recognized the importance for additional bridging of Tamiami Trail to restore natural water flows into the heart of the Everglades. Congress has authorized construction for the bridging. However, these projects cannot be realized without a strong federal financial commitment.
The administration must fund the additional bridging now, which will bring jobs to South Florida, and will continue the momentum for restoring America’s Everglades.
John Adornato, regional director, National Parks Conservation Association, Hollywood