Significant federal Everglades dollars soon flowing to Florida

March 2, 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved critical construction funds for projects to recover Florida Bay, the Kissimmee River Basin and Everglades National Park. Kirk Fordham, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, offered the following comment. "In passing a long-overdue 2009 budget bill, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved more than $180 million for key Everglades restoration projects...

PALMETTO BAY, FL, Feb. 25, 2009 -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved critical construction funds for projects to recover Florida Bay, the Kissimmee River Basin and Everglades National Park. Kirk Fordham, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, offered the following comment. "In passing a long-overdue 2009 budget bill, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved more than $180 million for key Everglades restoration projects that will improve conditions in Everglades National Park, the Kissimmee River Basin and Florida Bay.

"Tens of thousands of Floridians make their living in industries tied to the Everglades. Whether they are fishermen, boat and recreational equipment salespeople, hotel and restaurant employees, or real estate agents trying to sell property in South Florida -- all of them rely on a healthy Everglades and a future source of clean water.

"The Everglades Foundation strongly supports the omnibus bill approved by the House today. The legislation provides more than $180 million to fund seven critical Everglades restoration projects this year that will put scores of Floridians back to work and stimulate our economy.

"We can thank many strong Everglades restoration proponents in the House for securing these funds. Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Alcee Hastings and Mario Diaz-Balart and other members of the Florida delegation all worked in a bi-partisan manner to protect one of our nation's most valuable environmental and economic resources. The Everglades Foundation and its partners look forward to reviewing the Senate version of the bill and anticipate that both versions will make their way to the President for his signature and approval."

The highly anticipated restoration projects that are critical to the health of the Everglades that are funded in the legislation include:
• "Modified Waters Delivery" Tamiami Trail Bridging - $60 million
• C-111-South Dade/Florida Bay Recovery - $4.4 million
• Kissimmee River Restoration - $28 million
• Hoover Dike Reinforcement Project - $74 million
• Seminole-Big Cypress - $3.5 million
• Picayune Strand Restoration - $24 million
• Indian River Lagoon Project Design - $4.5 million

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