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STA-1W Cell 5 Limerock Berm 2003 Outstanding Project of the Year. Palm Beach County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Tracey Piccone, P.E. August 10, 2004. “ There are no other Everglades in the world….

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sta 1w cell 5 limerock berm 2003 outstanding project of the year

STA-1W Cell 5 Limerock Berm2003 Outstanding Project of the Year

Palm Beach County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers

Tracey Piccone, P.E.

August 10, 2004


They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them: their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, and the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass.” Marjory Stoneman Douglas

The Everglades: River of Grass(1947)


Everglades landscape

Sawgrass and tree islands


Everglades landscape

Sawgrass prairie

everglades restoration
Everglades Restoration
  • 4 major problems facing Everglades ecosystem:
    • Reduction in spatial extent of wetlands
    • Degradation of water quality (e.g., phosphorus and mercury)
    • Disruption of hydropatterns (i.e., timing, volume & distribution)
    • Infestation by exotic plant species
Everyone wanted to protect the Everglades…

The hard part was getting started.

early everglades restoration activities
Early Everglades Restoration Activities
  • 1972 - Florida Water Resources Act
  • 1978 - Comprehensive Everglades ecosystem monitoring begins
  • 1979 - Lake Okeechobee Program
    • Interim Action Plan
    • LOTAC recommendations
  • 1987 - SWIM program initiated
prototype everglades nutrient removal project
Prototype - Everglades Nutrient Removal Project
  • August 1988 - Gov. Martinez authorized the District to build a constructed wetland
  • 3,800 acres of prior ag land
  • Volunteer recruitment of vegetation
  • Design target 50 ppb
  • Consistently reduced phosphorus to <25 ppb!
1988 highs and lows
1988 - Highs and Lows
  • Everglades identified as a priority water body for purpose of SWIM
  • Everglades Nutrient Removal project authorized
  • Federal lawsuit filed ...
the wheels of progress turned
The wheels of progress turned ...
  • 1991 Everglades Protection Act
  • 1991 Federal Settlement Agreement
  • 1991 permit applications filed
  • 1992 Federal Consent Decree
  • 1992 Conceptual Design of STAs
  • 1992 Everglades SWIM Plan … resulting in ...
litigation averted
Litigation Averted!
  • In December 1992, all parties entered into formal mediated dispute resolution
  • July 1993 Statement of Principles – joint commitment to:
    • end litigation,
    • construct STAs,
    • implement BMPs in EAA,
    • provide funding
  • April 1994 - Everglades Forever Act
1994 everglades forever act
1994 Everglades Forever Act
  • Construction
    • Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs)
    • Diversion and hydropattern restoration
  • Research
    • Phosphorus criterion research
    • STA optimization research
  • Regulation
    • BMPs
    • Phosphorus criterion rulemaking
    • Permitting of structures discharging into, through or from the Everglades

ECP Basins:

ESP Basins:

ACME Basin




North Springs





North New


River Canal



C-11 West


Feeder Canal




1994 Everglades Forever Act (cont.)

  • Achieve state water quality standards in the EPA by 12/31/06
  • Submit application to FDEP by 12/31/03 for long-term water quality measures
    • plan for achieving compliance with state water quality standards
    • cost estimates, funding mechanisms, schedules
everglades construction project initial phase
Everglades Construction Project Initial Phase
  • One of the largest environmental restoration programs undertaken by a public agency
    • $720 million in acquisition, design and construction
    • Over 42,000 acres of treatment wetlands
  • Initial goal: 50 ppb phosphorus
  • Performance to date has exceeded expectations!
    • Discharges have averaged about 41 ppb
    • Approximately 1,730 metric tons of phosphorus removed (BMPs and STAs combined)

Constructed Wetland

Agricultural Land

Phosphorus Reduction

Design target: 50 ppb


Phosphorus Removal in STAs

Low phosphorus

water to EPA

(40 ppb)

Uptake by




Inflow ( 130 ppb)

Plant remains

and Particles

Deposit P

Uptake by Floating and Attached Algae



Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Uptake

Phosphorus in new peat soil

Uptake by Emergent plants



full scale sta enhancements
Full Scale STA Enhancements
  • Limerock Berm constructed in Cell 5 of STA-1W to help redistribute flow and enhance phosphorus removal performance.
  • Construction of the Limerock Berm was completed last summer by the Jones Company of South Florida, a 100% MBE/WBE owned firm.
  • The Limerock Berm is about 6,900 feet long and consists of more than 22,000 tons of limerock material.
  • The project is currently in the monitoring phase and a report documenting the performance of the Limerock Berm is to be completed in 2006.
full scale sta enhancements1
Full Scale STA Enhancements
  • The Limerock Berm demonstration project is being funded by a cost-share grant agreement between the District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The grant funding is being provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
achieving long term water quality goals
Achieving Long-Term Water Quality Goals
  • Will require additional STA enhancements
    • Compartmentalization - hydraulic redistribution
    • Vegetation management
    • Operational refinements
  • Adaptive management - incorporate results from on-going research and field observations
  • Long-Term Plan for Achieving Water Quality Goals for the Everglades prepared by technical working group comprised of various stakeholders
long term plan
Long-Term Plan
  • Contains projects designed to achieve compliance with water quality standards including the phosphorus criterion in the Everglades Protection Area.
  • In 2003, the Florida Legislature endorsed the Plan in an amended version of the EFA.
  • Also in 2003, Plan recognized in the phosphorus rule adopted by the ERC as BAPRT.
  • Plan was included in District’s December 2003 long-term permit application to the FDEP. 
  • Plan includes integrating with CERP project objectives and synchronizing schedules to avoid duplicative and unnecessary costs as required by the amended EFA.
where are we today
Where are we today?
  • Long-Term Plan is being implemented
    • Design is underway for Pre-2006 Projects (STA Enhancements) with construction to start late 2004
    • BMP programs are being expanded
    • Research & monitoring are progressing
    • Projects are being integrated with CERP projects
for more information
For More Information:
  • 2004 Everglades Consolidated Report
    • Summary of all available data
    • available on-line:
  • Tracey Piccone, P.E. (561) 682-6495