House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tours Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Watershed with Congressman Francis Rooney

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tours Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Watershed with Congressman Francis Rooney, May 9, 2017 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tours Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Watershed with Congressman Francis Rooney

NAPLES, FL – Today, Congressman Francis Rooney led House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on a tour of the Everglades and the Lake Okeechobee Watershed, including Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP) projects and Everglades National Park. The tour highlighted the importance of the watershed, and funding projects which have already been approved and designed.

Congressman Rooney stated “I am honored that Majority Leader McCarthy has visited our piece of paradise here in Southwest Florida to learn about the importance of our Everglades and the Lake Okeechobee watershed. My mission at the federal level is to earn the support necessary to secure the federal funding already approved through the Water Resource Development Acts (WRDA) of 2007, 2014, 2016, and for moving up planning currently scheduled for 2018.”

Majority Leader McCarthy said “The Florida everglades are a beautiful and vital ecosystem in the Sunshine State. Today’s tour with Congressman Rooney helped me understand how infrastructure upgrades can have a downstream effect on countless communities and industry. As a Californian, I know well how outdated water infrastructure can impact a state and its people, and I understand the mammoth undertaking to getting new projects started and completed. By working across the aisle, Francis has shown a committed leadership to getting done what everyone agrees should be done."

The Lake Okeechobee watershed and Everglades have far-ranging impact on the entire State of Florida and the country, but especially in Southeast and Southwest Florida, where 55% of all real estate in the state is affected - 2 trillion dollars of economic impact across 164 cities and 16 counties. CERP was enacted in 2000 and we need its 68 projects to be executed.  We also need the USACE to expedite needed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike.

Congressman Rooney has testified four times on water quality issues. In addition to this testimony, Congressman Rooney sent a letter to President Trump, co-signed by every member of the Florida Congressional delegation, that called on the President to support Everglades Restoration projects in his FY 2018 Budget. Congressman Rooney is a member of the Everglades Caucus and the Estuary Caucus.

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