Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement praising the report released today by the Obama administration regarding the investments made in the restoration efforts for the Everglades:
"With the Everglades making up a large portion of my Congressional district, I am acutely aware of the vital role restoration of this national treasure plays in the health and prosperity of South Florida. For far too long, we have seen these much needed efforts delayed and stalled. Since President Obama took office in 2009, I am pleased to report that a great deal of progress has been made to jumpstart these stalled projects and to give reconstruction efforts the support and attention they desperately need.
"The President said he would make Everglades restoration a national priority, and he has delivered on this promise. As part of his America's Great Outdoors initiative, over $1.5 billion has been invested in Everglades projects, and President Obama has requested an additional $246 million in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget to further these initial investments. With these investments, construction began for the Tamiami Trail Bridge, over 3,000 acres of the Kissimee River's floodplains were restored, and the implementation of essential parts of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan has begun. Through these efforts, 6,600 jobs have already been created and restoration projects will continue to create thousands of desperately needed jobs in the region.
"While progress has been made on restoring the Everglades, we still have a long way to go to ensure that there is clean water for future generations of Floridians. We must continue to support and invest in this imperative restoration effort, which is not only essential for environmental reasons, but also provides major economic benefits to the South Florida economy. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the administration to promote Everglades restoration to ensure the progress we have seen in the past three years continues."