With the award of a $1.25-million contract to H&R of Belle Glade Inc., a local contractor, the South Florida Water Management District has taken a major step toward building the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir to cleanse water from Lake Okeechobee on its way to the Everglades. The contract, awarded Nov. 14, is for clearing and de-mucking the land that will become the intake canal and the 6,500-acre stormwater treatment area associated with the EAA Reservoir project. The district is scheduled to begin accelerated construction of the storage reservoir on the cleared land in May 2020. When completed, expected in about 2028, the EAA Reservoir will receive polluted water from Lake Okeechobee. That water currently is discharged to Florida’s coasts, generating noxious algal blooms that kill sealife and pollute beaches.