Vizcaya Floodwall and Wetland Restoration


Coral Gables, Florida


Design, permitting, and construction oversight of a storm surge wall and wetland restoration to protect a low-lying restored historic garden area


  • Floodwall design
  • Wetland restoration
  • Grant approval
  • Environmental permitting

More about the Vizcaya Floodwall and Wetland Restoration project

Cummins Cederberg was retained to determine potential storm surge impacts and design a wall to prevent damage to a restored historic garden.

The project included the design, permitting and construction oversight of a shoreline stabilization wall, as well as wetland restoration, to protect a low-lying restored garden area at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. The garden is a historical orchidarium in a highly visible area directly fronting Biscayne Bay.

The seawall was designed to protect the restored historical garden from storm surge, hydrodynamic, and wave impacts. As part of the seawall design, an adjacent area invaded with exotic vegetation was restored to native conditions with planting of species native to the Biscayne Bay wetland environment. The restored wetland provides educational opportunities pertaining to Miami’s native waterfront environment along with natural protection.

The wetland design assists in dissipating wave energy in a non-intrusive way, as well as integrating into the overall master plan. The location and purpose of the wall provided opportunities for grant applications to assist Vizcaya Museum & Gardens with additional funding. Cummins Cederberg successfully prepared, presented, and processed a grant with the Florida Inland Navigation District.

Vizcaya is one of few public cultural sites in Miami-Dade County with direct access to Biscayne Bay. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark (granted to only 3% of nationally registered historic properties in the United States) in recognition of the property’s importance not only to Miami-Dade County and South Florida, but also to the entire nation. Vizcaya welcomes approximately 174,000 visitors annually and it has hosted numerous high-profile international events and state visits.  Vizcaya is accredited by the American Association of Museums, which requires adherence to rigorous professional standards for site maintenance and educational programming.

Catherine OlnickVizcaya Floodwall and Wetland Restoration