Water-Related News

Kissimmee River Project Delayed By Dispute

By Tom Palmer

LAKE WALES – The restoration of the Kissimmee River has hit an unexpected snag.

Over the past two weeks, members of the Florida Congressional delegation, officials at the South Florida Water Management District and Florida environmentalists have worked to persuade officials at the U.S. Army Corps to get things moving again.

If the deadlock is not resolved, a project that was originally supposed to have been completed last year may not be completed until 2019.

The Kissimmee River restoration is considered to be the largest, most ambitious river restoration project ever attempted in the world.

Advocates for restarting the stalled project maintain the stakes are high.

Completion of the project's final stage is "crucial to helping restore flows and address water quality issues in the area," U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Punta Gorda, whose district includes the section of Polk County within the Kissimmee River Basin, and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, whose district includes areas east of the river and Lake Okeechobee, wrote to Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.