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Title: Temporary Emergency Deviation to Alleviate High Water Levels in Water Conservation Area 3A (S-344 Deviation)
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Keywords: Flood control
Miami-Dade County (Fla.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Abstract: The highest January rainfall on record has occurred within the South Florida Ecosystem during the month of January 2016. The first half of the dry season (November 2015-January 2016) was the wettest for this period since record keeping began in 1932. All areas of South Florida are inundated with water restricting the ability to safely move water to alleviate the effects of flooding. The WCAs continue to be flooded in a manner that inundates tree islands and other wildlife habitat, and if sustained will negatively impact birds and mammals dependent on that habitat. Sustained flooding of natural habitat, especially tree islands, will negatively impact white-tailed deer by eliminating upland refuge and will negatively impact wading birds by eliminating foraging and nesting opportunities. These species support and encourage substantial outdoor recreational opportunities in this region. There is an immediate threat and impact to valuable natural resources that underpin local economies, in addition to potential impacts to land under lease to both the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and Seminole Tribe within WCA3A. Operations in the project area have been governed by Increment 1 (G-3273 Constraint Relaxation/S-356 Field Test and S-357N Operational Strategy) which is a deviation to the 2012 WCAs, ENP and the ENP to South Dade Conveyance System (SDCS) Water Control Plan (USACE 2012). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District, initiated a temporary emergency deviation to the current operating constraint of 7.5 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (of 1929 NGVD) in the L-29 Canal for purposes of providing high water relief in WCA 3A at the request of the Governor of Florida. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation to support the temporary emergency deviation was completed on February 12, 2016 with signing of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), incorporating an EA. Implementation of the temporary emergency deviation occurred on February 15, 2016. A Supplemental EA and Proposed FONSI is currently available to the public to provide further documentation of the potential environmental effects resulting from the alternatives considered and the action taken. Due to the critical nature of elevated water levels in WCA 3A and in compliance with the existing request by the Governor to maximize water releases, a second emergency NEPA document is being prepared to evaluate a deviation from the current water control plan for Structure 344 (S-344) on the L-28 Levee. The purpose of S-344 and associated features located along the L-28 Levee and Borrow Canal is to restore overland flow to an area of BCNP just south of the L-28 Tieback; prevent over drainage of the eastern BCNP under dry conditions; and provide a means of making regulatory releases from WCA 3A into BCNP. This deviation would open S-344 immediately instead of waiting for July 15, 2016 which is the normal opening date in the approved water control plan. The opening would allow up to approximately 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to be released from WCA 3A into BCNP and the L-28 Canal. The temporary emergency deviation is expected to benefit natural resources within WCA 3A and BCNP. It is important to note that the S-344 structure would be allowed to continue to release water from WCA 3A in accordance with the approved water control plan until November 1, 2016.
Appears in Collections:Environmental Documents

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