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Gov. Scott: Florida Continues to Lead Everglades Restoration Efforts While Congress Lags Behind

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Scott announced that he is directing an immediate $3.5 million investment by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to start work on the final phase of the major Everglades restoration project to raise portions of the Tamiami Trail, allowing more water to flow south through the Everglades. This project will help restore and protect the Everglades. Governor Scott also announced that he is directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to request an additional $40 million to complete this important project which continues Florida’s work to restore the Everglades while Congress remains $1 billion behind in its commitments. Governor Scott made these announcements while celebrating the completion of phase two of the Tamiami Trail project. When finished, this major project will send water south under nearly six miles of the Tamiami Trail.

Governor Scott said, “With today’s announcement, we are proving once again that when Congress fails and stalls, Florida acts. During my time as Governor, we have worked relentlessly to protect and restore the Everglades and I am proud to direct even more funding today to help complete the Tamiami Trail project which raises nearly six miles of this important road allowing billions of gallons of water to flow south. This major Everglades restoration project is just one example the massive effort spearheaded by the state that is working every day to protect Florida’s natural resources and environment.

“Over the past nearly eight years, we have invested more than $2 billion and accelerated 16 projects to restore our state’s most iconic natural resource, the Florida Everglades. The State of Florida will never stop fighting to protect the Everglades, and while we have done so much good without the federal government, it is time for Congress to finally step up and provide the $1 billion they are behind. Congress must act now and fix this terrible inequity so that even more progress can be made to ensure the health and stability of Florida’s Everglades for generations to come.”

Since December 2010, the State of Florida has made tremendous progress in Everglades restoration:

  • Put in law a dedicated $200 million each year for Everglades projects;
  • Invested $100 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike and secured full federal funding;
  • Accelerated 16 Everglades projects, sending more water south and providing billions of gallons of water storage around of Lake Okeechobee;
  • In 2016, Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 10, accelerating the EAA Reservoir to store even more water south of Lake Okeechobee;
  • Earlier this year, Governor Scott went to Washington to advocate for the approval of this important project, and worked with the White House as they approved and transmitted the EAA Reservoir to Congress; and
  • Governor Scott worked with President Trump to advocate for this important project that he signed into law just last week.

DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “Today’s announcement was a double victory for the Everglades. We’re celebrating not only the completion of a vital component of a key restoration project, but we’re also fast-tracking the next – and final phase —  of the Tamiami Trail. Sending water south and restoring a more natural flow is crucial for restoring and protecting Florida’s iconic Everglades, and I want to thank Governor Scott for continuing to make restoration a priority.”

Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks Pedro Ramos said, “The National Park Service applauds the State of Florida and their continued commitment to restoring America’s Everglades. Completing the remaining work on the Tamiami Trail is critical to moving the water south into the park and the marine areas that depend on it.”

For a map of Everglades projects, including the 16 that have been accelerated under Governor Scott, click HERE.

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