One Step Closer
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee set aside $200 million for Everglades Restoration projects. This is unprecedented, considering that only once in the 20 years since CERP was passed have the feds met their half of the cost share for Restoration. The money isn’t in the bank yet, and will still need to go through conferencing and final approval from the Senate, but this movement is significant.
There is no question, that the full frontal push from all corners of the Sunshine State has made the difference. Governor Ron DeSantis is making his name known among Everglades advocates and has stroked his personal connections with the President to nurture federal attention.
A bipartisan request was initiated by US House Reps Debbie Mucarasel-Powell (D) and Alcee Hasting (D) as well as Francis Rooney (R) and Brian Mast (R) to request the federal funds. They do not seem to be taking no for an answer in their determination to protect their constituents and their coastlines. In all, 16 of the 27 state’s House members signed on to the letter:
"South Florida Ecosystem Restoration is the annual line-item in the Energy and Water Appropriations Act that is critically important to funding the multi-decade and intricate series of overlapping project features necessary to achieve the national priority of Everglades restoration. … As you know, on May 13, the President submitted a budget amendment to the Corps of Engineers Construction request for a total funding level of $200 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. We urge the committee to allocate the $200 million requested by the President for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration during full committee markup of the Energy and Water Appropriations Act."
The overwhelming support represents a unified understanding of the value of Restoration to the Florida economy.