A Clemson University study released today by The Everglades Foundation (The Foundation) confirms that construction of the proposed EAA Reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee will generate more than 39,000 jobs and provide economic benefits of $20 billion – an 8-to-1 return on the project’s $2.47 billion cost.
“The South Reservoir is clearly a project with benefits vastly outweighing costs,” wrote Dr. Michael Maloney, professor emeritus at Clemson University and the principal investigator in the study. “At a construction cost of $2.47 billion, the South Reservoir is a no-brainer…the longer the project is put off, the more it will cost to build.”
“The EAA Reservoir will be an economic engine for our state, a job creator and a driving force behind the restoration of real estate values along both our coasts,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Foundation.
At a news conference surrounded by local business owners, realtors and representatives of local and state government, Eikenberg encouraged legislators to support Senate Bill 10, by Senator Rob Bradley and its counterpart, House Bill 761, by Representative Thad Altman.
“To us, the EAA Reservoir represents a solution to an ongoing environmental disaster – the forced discharge of billions of gallons of polluted Lake Okeechobee water into our coastal rivers and estuaries,” said Eikenberg. “However, to 39,000 Florida workers, the project represents a good job that pays a decent wage – and to the business people and homeowners of the affected coasts, it means billions of dollars in economic growth.”
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