Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott have joined together in urging President Donald Trump to include $200 million a year in the federal budget for Everglades restoration.
In a letter released this week, the three Florida Republican leaders requested a commitment for construction funding.
“The federal-state partnership to restore the Everglades is critical to protecting Florida’s unique environmental character, preserving our state’s full economic potential, and enhancing the resilience of every community south of Lake Okeechobee,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, federal funding has not kept pace with the state’s increasing contributions.”
The letter stated, “Florida’s recent struggles with harmful algal blooms have raised the stakes for accelerated progress on Everglades restoration. Enhanced federal funding to complement years of historic state funding levels would fast-track design and construction of the Central Everglades Planning Project and the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir to divert and clean Lake Okeechobee releases and increase water deliveries to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. These funds would also advance important water storage and treatment infrastructure planned for the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir and Indian River Lagoon-South projects that will further reduce harmful algal bloom frequency and intensity through enhanced coastal water quality.”
The state’s 27-member congressional delegation sent a similar letter to Trump in January.
Senator Rick Scott added, “Florida’s natural treasures are what make our state so special and why we must always prioritize investments in our environment. As Governor, I invested record funding in Florida’s environment and restoring the Everglades. I look forward to partnering with the Administration to continue to fight to protect Florida’s natural treasures for generations to come.”
DeSantis has made the environment a top priority. He made a $625 million commitment to the environment in his annual budget proposal.
About half the spending, a record $360 million, would go to Everglades projects, speeding up a 17,000-acre Everglades reservoir in farm fields south of Lake Okeechobee and remove almost 200,000 pounds of discharged phosphorus per year — a major source of nutrient pollution.