Miami-Dade County features two unique national parks – Everglades and Biscayne. With nearly 2.5 million residents, it is also the most populous county in Florida. Miami-Dade's combination of ecological treasures and its large population demonstrates the complexities of balancing the South Florida Water Management District's water quality, flood control, environmental restoration and water supply missions.
Regional Representatives develop partnerships with local governments, utilities, community groups and other stakeholders in Miami-Dade County and create a better understanding of local water resource issues through outreach and education activities.
Miami Field Station 9001 NW 58th Street Miami, FL 33178 (305) 513-3420 Fax: (305) 594-9498 Map [PDF]
Kevin Powers, Vice-Chair and at-large appointee representing areas including Miami-Dade County
Melanie Peterson, at-large appointee representing areas including Miami-Dade County
South Dade Study
Beginning in September 2015, the South Florida Water Management District held a series of workshops to provide a forum for integrating all stakeholder perspectives on the hydrology in the south Miami-Dade County area. The goals of the intensive six-month effort were to identify options to reduce flood risks in urban and agricultural areas and to provide much-needed water to natural areas.
The study produced several feasible options that could either be pursued immediately or incorporated into ongoing planning efforts, including:
Refining operations at key structures
Modifying High Head Cell at S-332D Flow-way to improve efficiency of water delivery to Taylor Slough and reduce seepage back toward developed areas
Seasonal lowering of operating range for the S-332B, S-332C and S-332D pump stations
Modifying infrastructure in vicinity of Taylor Slough headwaters
Increasing S-199 and S-200 pump capacity
Constructing seepage collection canal and pump station near S-178
Constructing seepage barrier – up to 15 miles in length
Canal bank improvements to maximize flood protection in Sweetwater and unincorporated Miami-Dade County continue
The Tamiami (C-4) Canal Flood Protection Project was launched in response to local flooding from Hurricane Irene in 1999 and the "No Name Storm" in 2000. It is a multi-phase project and includes the completed 900-acre Emergency Detention Basin in West Miami-Dade County, multiple canal bank improvements, the S-25B Forward Pump Station, the S-26 Pump Station and a dredging project adjacent to Florida's Turnpike. The overall project is providing improved flood protection to 500,000 residents and to 5,000 homes and businesses. more »
The South Florida Water Management District continues a phased construction of flood protection walls and earthen berms along the Tamiami Canal (C-4) in sections of the City of Sweetwater and unincorporated Miami-Dade County. The next sections to be constructed will be the Sweetwater Phase between 107th Avenue and 97th Avenue and the Belen Phase II from SW 122nd Avenue to SW 130th Avenue. This effort, scheduled to begin construction in June 2014, is part of the Tamiami (C-4) Canal Flood Protection Project.
South Miami-Dade Water Issues Coordination Initiative: The South Florida Water Management District is committed to providing the necessary resources and management involvement to ensure coordination and oversight of the multiple, ongoing water-related projects and initiatives in south Miami-Dade County. more »
In addition, the District will provide stakeholders and interested parties with information on activities being undertaken in South Miami-Dade County by the South Florida Water Management District. This web site provides background information and progress updates to the numerous projects under development in the region, access to data and technical evaluations conducted in support of District water resource actions, and provides notice and associated supporting documents associated with District related south Miami-Dade project meetings and workshops. Attached is the South Miami-Dade Issues Coordination Charter which explains the scope of this initiative. To help keep these updates useful, please feel free to send us news, questions or suggestions pertaining to District activities you are interested in within the region. We will do our best to address each communication we receive.
South Miami-Dade Water Issues Coordinator
Miami-Dade County Lake Belt: The Lake Belt Area encompasses 77.5 square miles of environmentally sensitive land at the western edge of the Miami-Dade County urban area. The wetlands and lakes of the Lake Belt offer the potential to buffer the Everglades from the potentially adverse impacts of urban development. more »
Rock mined from the Lake Belt supplies one-half of the limestone used annually in Florida. The Northwest Wellfield – located at the eastern edge of the Lake Belt is the largest drinking water wellfield in the State and supplies approximately 40 percent of the potable water for Miami-Dade County. Approximately 50 percent of the land within the Lake Belt Area is owned by the mining industry, 25 percent is owned by government agencies, and the remaining 25 percent is owned by non-mining private landowners.
The Florida Legislature recognize the importance of the Lake Belt Area to the citizens of Florida and mandated that a plan be prepared to address a number of concerns critical to the State (Chapter 373.4139, F.S.). The Legislature established the Lake Belt Committee and assigned it the task of developing a long-term plan for the Lake Belt Area. Through a cooperative process involving government agencies, mining interests, non-mining interests, and environmental groups, the Lake Belt Committee completed the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan – Phase I and Phase II.
The Lake Belt Phase I Plan – completed in 1997 – focused upon balancing limestone mining interests and environmental concerns related to wetland protection, water supply protection and water management needed for Everglades restoration. It established the footprint for future mining, and distinguished areas suitable for mining, areas suitable for environmental mitigation, and areas where further analysis is needed to determine mining suitability. It provided the basis for the Wetland Mitigation Fee, subsequently established in 1999, to fund the purchase and restoration of wetlands, including the Pennsuco wetlands, as mitigation for limestone mining.
The Lake Belt Phase II Plan – completed in 2000 – expanded upon the Phase I Plan by providing a more detailed plan to further implement and specifically address a number of additional legislative mandates.
Lake Belt Mitigation Committee
In 1999, the Florida Legislature established a mitigation fee on each ton of limerock and sand sold from the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area. The purpose of the fee is to provide for mitigation of wetland resources lost to mining activities within this area. The fee is collected from the mining industry by the Department of Revenue and transferred to the District's Lake Belt Mitigation Trust Fund.
The proceeds of the mitigation fee are used to conduct mitigation activities that are appropriate to offset the loss of the value and functions of wetlands as a result of mining activities and must be used in a manner consistent with the recommendations contained in the reports submitted to the Legislature by the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Plan Implementation Committee and adopted under Chapter 373.4139, F.S.. Such mitigation may include the purchase, enhancement, restoration, and management of wetlands and uplands, the purchase of mitigation credit from a permitted mitigation bank, and any structural modifications to the existing drainage system to enhance the hydrology of the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area. Funds may also be used to reimburse other funding sources, including the Save Our Rivers Land Acquisition Program, the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the South Florida Water Management District, and Miami-Dade County, for the purchase of lands that were acquired in areas appropriate for mitigation due to rock mining and to reimburse governmental agencies that exchanged land under Chapter 373.4139, F.S. for mitigation due to rock mining.
The Legislature established an interagency committee to evaluate mitigation proposals and oversee the expenditure of mitigation fees from the Lake Belt Mitigation Trust Fund. The committee consists of representatives from each of the following: the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management, the Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida Water Management District, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As provided for in the legislation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been added to the committee as voting members. The limerock mining industry is represented on the interagency committee by a nonvoting member.
Lake Belt Mitigation Committee Meeting
July 15, 2016
Biscayne Bay Regional Restoration Coordination Team: Integrates and coordinates restoration, enhancement, and preservation projects, plans, and activities working towards maintaining a functioning ecosystem.
C-4 Technical Group: Updates on the local and District projects for the C-4 Basin.
City of Miami Green Commission: Working to make the City of Miami "greener".
Environmental Education Providers of Miami-Dade County: Promotes environmental education throughout Miami-Dade County Public Schools and organizations.
Miami River Commission: Deals with any and all issues related to the Miami River, such as public policy, dredging, pollution, water quality and public awareness. Also participate on Stormwater Subcommittee, Greenways Subcommittee, Dredging Working Group and Urban Infill Working Group.
Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force and sub-committees: Deals with climate change issues in a comprehensive effort that may impact zoning, land use, building codes and other planning areas.
Miami-Dade Planner's Technical Committee: Planning group with representatives from all municipalities and the county dealing with water supply issues, climate change legislation/issues, growth planning and Department of Community Affairs issues.
Urban Horticulture Advisory Committee: Planning on agricultural and water conservation issues and events for the year.