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News Release  
SFWMD and Officials Celebrate Completion of Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Pump Station  

Massive Infrastructure Project Will Move Excess Water from the Caloosahatchee
River into an 11,000-Acre Storage Reservoir

Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Pump Station Ribbon Cutting
Pictured from Left to Right: Commissioner Ramon Iglesias, Hendry County;
Commissioner Hugo Vargas, City of LaBelle; Commissioner Emory “Rowdy”
Howard, Hendry County; Vice Chair Mitchell Wills, Hendry County; Chair-
person Emma Byrd, Hendry County; Chairman Chauncey Goss, SFWMD;
Rep. Adam Botana; President Kathleen Passidomo, Florida Senate; Direct-
or Drew Bartlett, SFWMD; Sen. Jonathan Martin; Board Member Charlette
Roman, SFWMD; Councilwoman Holly Smith, City of Sanibel; Commissioner
Karson Turner, Hendry County; Mayor Julie Wilkins, City of LaBelle; Deputy
Secretary Adam Blalock, DEP; Maj. Cory Bell, USACE – Jacksonville District;
Board Member Ben Butler, SFWMD


Today, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) joined federal, state and
local officials to celebrate the completion of a new pump station for the Caloosahatchee
(C-43) Reservoir Project in Hendry County. The massive pump station will move water
from the Caloosahatchee River (C-43 Canal) into an 18-square-mile reservoir and reduce
harmful flows of water from reaching the downstream Caloosahatchee Estuary. The reser-
voir is expected to begin initial operations in 2025.

“Today is another massive step forward to further improve our waters here in Southwest
Florida and support the restoration of America’s Everglades,” said SFWMD Governing
Board Chairman and Sanibel resident Chauncey Goss. “Southwest Florida knows how
important our water quality is to our way of life, our estuary, and our local economy. Once
this reservoir comes online, there will be billions of gallons of water storage available that
will protect the delicate balance of fresh and salt water in the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
We’re grateful for the Governor’s leadership and support from the Florida Legislature to
build Everglades restoration projects like this across South Florida. Projects like these
protect our environment and enhance the resiliency of our water resources for decades to
come. Finishing this pump station is a big step forward to making this reservoir a reality.”

“The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir has been many years in the making, and today is a
significant, historic milestone for this massive project,” said Florida Senate President
Kathleen Passidomo. “The momentum we have seen for this project under the leadership
of Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Simpson, as well as Governor Scott and Senate
President Negron, is truly amazing. In recent years, we have seen many large-scale projects
come on-line, with more in the works. To me, what really stands out about these projects are
the partnerships that bring them across the finish line. Local, state, and federal partners in city
and county government, the Legislature, Governor and Cabinet, Water Management District,
Congressional Leadership, the Army Corps – the list goes on. Only by working together can
we accomplish these monumental feats of engineering, planning and construction. It is truly
a wonder.”

“The Department of Environmental Protection is proud to celebrate the completion of the
Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Pump Station today with our partners at the South Florida
Water Management District,” said Adam Blalock, Deputy Secretary of the Department
of Environmental Protection. “Thanks to the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the
Legislature, we’re working across the state to implement projects that support our state’s
water resources. Under the Governor’s leadership, Florida continues making record invest-
ments in protecting our natural resources and conserving our way of life in Florida. The
Department stands ready to continue expediting Everglades restoration and resiliency pro-
jects to further protect the natural resources that make Florida so special.”

The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir is an 18-square-mile water storage project that provides
water storage and supports healthy salinity levels in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. It will reduce
harmful flows of water to the Caloosahatchee Estuary from Lake Okeechobee and the local
watershed during the wet season and provide beneficial freshwater flows to the estuary during
the dry season. It will hold approximately 170,000 acre-feet of water, which is around 55 billion

The new pump station, one of the largest pump stations in the state, is the main inflow structure
for the Caloosahatchee Reservoir. It has the capability to move more than 650,000 gallons of
water per minute from the Caloosahatchee River into the reservoir using four large pumps. 

The reservoir also includes 19 miles of dam embankments, 15 miles of perimeter canals, 14 major
water control structures and more. The remaining portions of the reservoir project are expected to
be substantially complete by 2025.

Once online, the Caloosahatchee Reservoir will:
-Store excess freshwater from the local watershed and Lake Okeechobee before it can reach the
downstream estuary. 

-Help sustain a healthy nursery for fish in the estuary. 

-Enhance the resiliency of our water resources. 

In January 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 23-06 in Bonita Springs to
support Everglades restoration and protect Florida’s water resources. This order built on the
success of Executive Order 19-12, which was signed in 2019 in Bonita Springs and also sup-
ported expedited Everglades restoration and water quality improvements. The SFWMD has
celebrated more than 65 ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and major milestones on Ever-
glades restoration and resiliency projects across Central and Southern Florida since January

The Caloosahatchee (C-43) Reservoir Project is a key component of the joint state-federal
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
to restore the environment and make our water resources more resilient. 

The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that
manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest
of the state’s five water management districts. Our mission is to safeguard and restore
South Florida’s water resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding,
and meet the region’s water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders.
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