Biden administration plans to spend more than $1 billion on Everglades restoration
By Bryan Lowry, Alex Harris / Miami Herald / January 19, 2022
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend $1.1 billion on restoring and preserving South Florida’s Everglades during the current fiscal year, the White House announced Wednesday. The money comes through the infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed into law in November and represents the single largest investment in the Everglades in history, according to the White House. Florida’s congressional delegation split along party lines last year on the more than $1 trillion infrastructure package with only the state’s Democrats voting in favor of it.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday, January 19th, unveiled its plan for spending $17.1 billion in supplemental funding it received through the new infrastructure law for the 2022 fiscal year, which lasts through September. At $1.1 billion for the year, the Everglades project is set to receive by far the most money from that funding pool than any other project listed on the Corps’ 2022 construction work plan.
The funds for the Everglades restoration aim to increase the ecosystem’s resilience against climate change by storing surface water runoff and minimizing seepage losses during dry periods, according to the White House. “This is enormous news, and allows us to set a course for quicker completion of the world’s largest ecosystem restoration project,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida Democrat, said in a statement. ”It will enable the construction of resilient and multi-benefit projects that will increase the carbon sequestration capacity of the ecosystem and protect our communities and local economies for generations to come.”
Wasserman Schultz called the Everglades the “lifeblood of South Florida.” U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, another South Florida Democrat who supported the legislation, pointed to the Everglades as a crucial source of drinking water for the state’s residents. “The Everglades is a beautiful and delicate ecosystem that serves as drinking water for more than eight million Floridians and home to hundreds of endangered plant and animal species,” Frankel said in a statement. “This new funding will significantly boost efforts to make sure that this unique and vibrant environment is kept alive and thriving for future generations.”
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust applauds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to spend $1.1 billion on Everglades restoration projects through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by in November and supported by BTT throughout the legislative process. The funding represents the single largest investment in the Everglades in history. The restoration projects will support clean water and healthy fisheries, which are the lifeblood of the Florida’s sportfishing industry, a $13.8 billion economic engine supporting almost 120,000 jobs.
NOTE: Featured image is a snook. Photo taken by “Mr. Cover” Pat Ford. Be sure to visit his website.