Congressmen Francis Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart Announce Joint Press Conference on Appropriations for Everglades Restoration

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Congressmen Francis Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart Announce Joint Press Conference on Appropriations for Everglades Restoration, July 27, 2017 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Washington, DC – Today, Congressmen Francis Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart announced they will be hosting a joint press conference and tour of CERP projects at 9:00AM, July 31st, at the Merritt Pump Station. The event will highlight House Appropriations funding for Fiscal Year 2018, and provide an update on Everglades restoration projects.

Congressman Rooney stated, “Funding for Lake Okeechobee watershed and Everglades restoration projects are my top priority, that’s why I ran for Congress. The House Appropriations Committee supported Southwest Florida and fully funded what the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asked for. Our challenge is that OMB cut what the Army Corp requested for our projects by 60%. I am working to revisit this.”

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said, “Everglades restoration has always been a key issue for me in Congress. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I worked with my colleagues to once again secure adequate funding to advance these projects. I remain committed to continue working with Congressman Rooney, the Florida delegation, and our Congressional colleagues to advocate for the restoration process that will preserve this natural treasure for years to come.”

Funding appropriated in FY2018 includes:

  • $82 million for Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation projects
  • $76.5 million for Everglades Restoration via Energy & Water appropriations
  • $8 million for Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and $46 million for non-CERP Everglades projects via Interior appropriations
  • $10 million for planning and interagency coordination in support of Everglades restoration
  • $153 million for ecosystem programs under the U.S. Geological Survey, including those in the Everglades

While unable to attend the joint press conference, the following Congress members have expressed their support:

“Florida’s Everglades are a national treasure we cannot afford to lose. We must fight for the funding necessary to preserve this iconic asset for generations to come.” – Congressman Matt Gaetz, FL-01

“The Everglades are a vital part of Florida’s ecosystem, and I am pleased that Congress is engaged in the effort to help conserve this important area in our great state. Not only for the abundant wildlife it supports but for all Floridians to enjoy.” – Congressman Ted Yoho, FL-03

“The Everglades are critical to our state’s economy and clean water supply, and our congressional delegation is united in bipartisan support of efforts to restore the Everglades.  I commend my colleagues Francis Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart in particular for their leadership on this issue, as well as the House Appropriations Committee for recognizing the importance of designating resources for vital Everglades restoration efforts.  I look forward to continuing to fight as a delegation for these and other critical state priorities.” – Congressman John Rutherford, FL-04

“The Everglades is not only important to Florida’s economy, but it also provides drinking water to one in three Floridians. While we have made significant progress in restoring the Everglades, more work remains to be done. We can’t give up in the middle of the process. Congress made a commitment to restoring the Everglades and I urge OMB to join us in that important effort,” – Congressman Bill Posey, FL-08

“Throughout my service in the Florida legislature and currently in the U.S. House of Representatives, I’ve worked to pass several initiatives to restore and preserve Florida’s treasured ecosystems, in particular the Everglades.  Recently, Congress passed legislation to move forward projects within the Central Everglades Planning Project, which when completed will restore Central and Western Everglades and address the algae proliferation in South Florida. There is more work to be done and I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve water quality and secure Florida’s threatened ecosystems.” - Congressman Daniel Webster, FL-11

“After last summer, my community on the Treasure Coast knows far too well what environmental disaster looks like.  The great news is that this bill includes over $200 million to directly help the Everglades and our coastal environment.  But our work is far from done, which is why I will continue my fight in Congress for projects to prevent harmful algal blooms on the Treasure Coast and restore the Everglades for future generations.” – Congressman Brian Mast, FL-18



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