Congress Wakes Up on Everglades Restoration

A billion proposed national water bill includes funds for restoring Florida"s Everglades.© Wikipedia

In the wake of the United Nation’s decision a few weeks ago to drop the Everglades from its list of threatened World Heritage Sites (see: UN Removes Everglades from World Heritage List), the U.S. Congress last week offered to pick up the slack. Three major Florida water projects that will aid restoration of the Everglades are part of a $21 billion national water bill that made it through House and Senate negotiations—despite stalling since 2002. While the White House has expressed concern over the cost of the proposed bill, political analysts think there are enough Senate votes in favor of the bill to override a Presidential veto.

"After years of congressional inaction to tackle Florida’s Everglades restoration, I am pleased to see Congress reaffirm its commitment," says Ron Klein, a U.S. Representative from Florida who has repeatedly backed a series of ill-fated Everglades restoration bills.

Environmentalists are delighted as well. "This is the first time Congress is giving the go-ahead to implement actual Everglades construction plans," says April Gromnicki of the National Audubon Society. She credits new congressional leadership for pushing past years of political impasse, labeling the legislation a milestone in efforts to restore the Everglades.

Source: Miami Herald