Structural sheetflow

Here we are, already halfway into the 2010:

  • With a wet winter behind us, and
  • The summer wet season already a few weeks old.


You’d think that would mean all the gates are open and flowing. (Especially since flows to the coast this spring have been so high.)

Not the case for the S12A.

It’s yet to see a single drop.


The S12A is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer structure located along the Tamiami Trail, right at the transition where the endless open plain of the Everglades gives way to the looming shadows of the Big Cypress Swamp. The S12A sends water from state land (called Water Conservation Area 3A) straight into Everglades Nat’l Park …

From where a part of it finds its way into Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve.


That’s a reversal from the norm:

The standard bearer here in the swamp
is Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve feeding water into the park …

Not vice versa.

In fact, the shape and size of the preserve – as carved out by Congress in 1974 – was “cookie cut” in exact alignment with the slice of swampy headwaters that sheetflows its water the Everglades Nat’l Park’s western arm …


That way they wouldn’t have to worry about
Big Cypress Swamp replicas of the S12A –

And when to open them, by how much and for how long.

The swamp figured that one out by itself a long time ago.


Click HERE to view flows at a major structure near you.

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