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Florida congressional delegation asks President Biden for $725 million for Everglades restoration

FWC Commissioner warns of ecological catastrophe in Everglades.

 

Florida congressional delegation asks President Biden for $725 million for Everglades restoration

 

Washington DC (treasurecoast.com)-Florida’s congressional delegation urged President Biden to include $725 million for Everglades restoration in his upcoming budget request, a “commonsense” ask to help complete a number of water projects in the thirsty ecosystem. 

The federal funding would build upon a record-high $250 million in Everglades restoration, made official Dec. 27 in the final approval of the biennial Water Resources Development Act, which prioritizes water projects across the country.

“Now it’s time to build on that momentum with an even larger commitment,” U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, said in a prepared statement Thursday. “Now is the time to put the pedal to the metal to stop discharges and send the water south once and for all.”

Sen. Marco Rubio and all 27 U.S. House members from Florida signed the letter to Biden. Sen. Rick Scott was the only Florida delegation member who didn’t sign it.

On Jan. 20, the Everglades Coalition wrote a letter to newly inaugurated Biden, urging $2.9 billion in federal restoration funding over four years for improving water quality, water supply and habitat connectivity. 

The coalition is an alliance of over 60 local, state and national organizations dedicated to restoring the entire Everglades ecosystem from Orlando to Florida Bay. 

Beyond funding, the coalition also asked for action against a lengthy list of environmental policy rollbacks by former President Donald Trump, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

The rollbacks left fragile ecosystems such as the Everglades vulnerable to destruction and damage, the coalition wrote. 

Everglades restoration remains a unifying point for Floridians, according to Cara Capp, the National Parks Conservation Association’s senior Everglades program manager.

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