Starting in 1999, the Army Corps of Engineers and partners at the South Florida Water Management District began to restore the natural curves of the river in the largest restoration project of its kind in the world. The project, which was Congressionally authorized in 1992, restores 40 miles of the river and floodplain and almost 25,000 acres of wetlands. The river’s floodplain will flood seasonally and the river will meander again in order to replicate its natural path. After restoration, Lake Kissimmee will rise 1.5 feet, storing water to feed the river during the dry season and rehydrating another 20 square miles of dried marshes around it.
Left: Figure 9-2. Lower Kissimmee Basin with actual and projected completion dates of construction phases. (Note: KRR = Kissimmee River Restoration.) From 2019 South Florida Environmental Report – Volume I.
"Birds are resilient! They flocked back to the restored areas faster than we had hoped - if you build it they will come! This large-scale infrastructure improvement proves that ecosystem restoration holds benefits for both birds and people, and is an important water-resources investment for now and into the future."
~Julie Hill-Gabriel, Audubon's Vice President for Water Conservation