Today the Obama Administration's Council on Environmental Quality published a progress report about Everglades restoration projects. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) released the following statement:
"President Obama's administration has been committed to Everglades restoration from day one, and we've already seen significant progress in many of the projects underway. Since 2008 we've seen a dramatic increase in federal resources as well as the commencement of several major federal projects -- from construction on a Tamiami Trail bridge, to improving the ecosystem at Picayune Strand and the Indian River Lagoon. It is important that Congress maintain the momentum of the last few years by fully funding the Administration's restoration priorities as laid out in the President's 2013 budget.
"Part of restoring our River of Grass depends on our farmers and ranchers in Florida doing their part to help with conservation efforts. I'm glad the Administration has developed partnerships with ranchers and farmers so they can work together to improve water quality and protect the habitats near the Everglades, while at the same time supporting Florida's $100 billion agricultural economy.
"Restoration of the Everglades has significant environmental and economic benefits for Florida. In addition to the seven million Floridians who rely on the Everglades for their primary source of drinking water, a study conducted for the Everglades Foundation showed that for every dollar invested in Everglades restoration, $4 are generated in economic benefits. Restoration projects launched by the Administration already have generated 6,600 jobs and are expected to generate more. An $11.5 billion investment in Everglades restoration would result in $46.5 billion in gains to Florida's economy and create more than 440,000 jobs over the next 50 years, by spurring construction and tourism activity.
"We are fortunate to have one of the world's great wonders right here in South Florida, and restoring the Everglades serves as a reminder that we must leave this world better than we found it so that future generations can enjoy it too."