Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded Florida Governor Rick Scott's announcement that the State of Florida will support the next phase of bridge construction on the Tamiami Trail in the Everglades.
"We welcome Governor Scott's partnership with the Department in the construction of a 2.6 mile bridge on the Tamiami Trail, a critical next step in our collective efforts to restore the Everglades," said Jewell. "Bridging the Tamiami Trail is a key component of Everglades restoration plans to increase water flow through the central Everglades into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. This will both help restore wildlife habitat in the Everglades and improve flood conditions in the Water Conservation Areas north of the Trail."
In February, the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the first mile of bridging on the trail, which is already contributing positively to the management of current high water conditions in the Everglades.
In recognition that the one-mile bridge was just a first step, Congress authorized a National Park Service plan to add an additional 5.5 miles of bridging. Last January, the Park Service began planning the next 2.6 mile bridge span.
"I visited the Everglades during my first two weeks as Interior Secretary and I am struck by the scale of the restoration effort and by the strength of the partnership we have with the State of Florida," said Jewell. "I commend Governor Scott for his leadership on the Everglades and look forward to our continued efforts to restore this critical ecosystem while creating jobs and strengthening Florida's economy."
The Obama Administration has reinvigorated Federal leadership in Everglades restoration, investing $1.7 billion in Everglades projects and initiatives that will make a measurable impact on the ground.