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Roadbed removed to send harmful water discharges south, governor says

Tamiami Trail roadbed in Miami removed 6 months ahead of schedule
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Miami on Aug. 3, 2021.jpg
Posted at 9:33 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 11:09:03-04

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. — Florida environmental leaders on Tuesday celebrated a major milestone that's expected to reduce harmful water discharges into the St. Lucie Estuary.

Speaking at the Shark Valley Visitor Center at Everglades National Park, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the removal of the nearly six-mile Tamiami Trail roadbed has been completed six months ahead of schedule.

"Where the nearly six miles of roadbed once stood, now clean water is moving south," DeSantis said.

WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes environmental announcement in Miami

The governor said the removal of the roadbed -- the foundation of a railroad track -- will increase water flows into Everglades National Park and reduce harmful discharges to the east and west coasts of Florida.

"Removing barriers to move water south benefits the Everglades and restoration of its critical ecosystem, and helps to protect the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries from harmful discharges," DeSantis said.

Those water releases have led to, in part, the growth of toxic algae in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, according to environmentalists.

"Moving water south is so important. That reduces the amount of water going east and west," conservationist "Alligator" Ron Bergeron said. "This project affects the global Everglades."