District board OKs contract for Everglades water quality improvement project

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The state agency overseeing Everglades restoration has approved a contract to start construction on a water quality improvement project south of Lake Okeechobee.

The chairman of the South Florida Water Management District's governing board said Thursday that the new storage site will significantly improve the agency's ability to remove pollutants from water flowing into the Everglades.

The $59.9 million project will create a reservoir to store storm water. Officials say vegetation such as bulrush and cattail planted in the site will help reduce the concentration of phosphorus in the water.

The water will then be directed south into wetlands constructed to filter more nutrients from the water as it flows south into Everglades National Park.

The project is part of the state's strategy for improving water quality in the Everglades.

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