SFWMD manages an extensive, heavily utilized 2,000 mile long canal network and several surface-water impoundments totaling more than 1,000 square miles. Dredging is a vital component that allows SFWMD to carry out its mission to maintain South Florida’s water systems, and ensuring safe and efficient conveyance through its watershed. Since the creation of a Lake Okeechobee outlet to the Gulf in 1882, dredging has been crucial in sustaining its navigability.
The dredging of lake bottoms to create navigation canals, the filling of surface lakes for land reclamation and building construction, environmental dredging, and maintenance dredging of South Florida’s canal system and rivers have contributed to sustaining the region’s growing population, economy, and environment. The sizeable accumulation of sedimentation in their canal over the years have SFWMD policy makers concerned today, as the lack of dredging is presenting a threat to the SFWMD accomplishing its mission.
Piedroba was contracted in March to commence a dredging feasibility study that would allow Piedroba to assist SFWMD with identifying different options to meet their extensive dredging need for decades to come. Piedroba's principal Dr. Luis Prieto-Portar is enthusiastic about continuing a relationship with SFWMD: 'Throughout my career I have worked closely with SFWMD, and I always enjoyed their innovative approach to obtaining there mission. We are appreciative of being part of their team once again, and we look forward to being of service'.
SFWMD is a regional governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys and serving a population of 7.7 million residents. It is the oldest and largest of the states five water management districts. Created in 1949, the agency is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is the restoration of America's Everglades – the largest environmental restoration project in the nation's history. SFWMD is also working to improve the Kissimmee River and its floodplain, Lake Okeechobee and South Florida's coastal estuaries