Statement by The Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg Regarding the Passage of WRDA in the U.S. House

Today, we celebrate the strong bipartisan leadership of Congress in it’s commitment to Everglades restoration. Authorization of the long-awaited Central Everglades Planning Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 is a critical step toward reconnecting Lake Okeechobee south and restoring natural water flows in the Everglades. We thank Chairman Bill Shuster, Congressman John Mica, Congressman Daniel Webster, Congresswoman Lois Frankel and Congressman Carlos Curbelo for their diligent efforts to advance this important restoration project.

Florida still remains under a state of emergency from damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The overwhelming approval by lawmakers in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives provides a meaningful step toward removing barriers to sending water south. This Central Everglades Planning Project project can bring approximately 67 billion gallons of water to improve the habitat in Florida Bay, especially preventing future seagrass die-offs currently threatening valuable fisheries in the Florida keys.

We look forward to continuing to work with leadership in Congress and members of the Florida delegation to protect our estuaries, water supply, economy and America’s Everglades.

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