Ros-Lehtinen Pleased with Passage of Legislation that will Expand The Everglades National Park Boundary as well as Increase Funding for The Kampong National Botanical Garden in Coconut Grove
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, is pleased with passage of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 that deals with federal lands and waters and will designate certain lands as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. In South Florida, the legislation will expand Everglades National Park and provide funding for the Kampong National Botanical Garden in Coconut Grove.
The bill has now been officially passed with Ros-Lehtinen being one of very few Republicans to vote for its passage. The Senate has already approved this bill and it now goes to the President for his signature.
The Bill allows for the National Park Service to acquire property adjacent to Everglades National Park that is currently owned by the Nature Conservancy. The acquisition is a priority for the Park because of the property's significant natural resources and strategic location on US Highway 1 in the Florida Keys. The property includes vast marine and coastal resources native to Florida Bay and the Florida Keys.
Also benefiting from passage of this legislation is the Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden in Coconut Grove as the Bill authorizes appropriations for the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, of which the Kampong is one of five Gardens throughout the nation and the only one of the five located on the US mainland. The Kampong serves as the primary center for the National Tropical Botanical Garden's educational courses which are used by colleges and universities throughout the US. The National Tropical Botanical Garden is dedicated to preserving tropical plant diversity and stemming the tide of extinctions through plant exploration, habitat restoration, scientific research and education.
Said Ros-Lehtinen, "The passage of this Bill is good for South Florida as it expands our fragile and vitally critical Everglades National Park and also makes available increased funding for the Kampong National Botanical Garden in Coconut Grove. Both of these South Florida landmarks are important for our environmental progress and native plant and wildlife."