U.S. Representative Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) remains dedicated to working with local, state, and federal officials to find real solutions to the issues that have plagued Treasure Coast waterways for too long. To that end, he recently met with Sally Ericcson, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science for the Administration's Office of Management and Budget. This office oversees the federal funding process for Everglades restoration projects, including the ongoing C-44 Indian River Lagoon project.
Additionally, the House of Representatives voted last week to appoint House conferees on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). This allows the House and Senate to work out differences between their two versions of this bill, that were both passed with broad bipartisan support, so that a final bill can move forward and be signed into law by the President. The bill will authorize new Everglades projects that will benefit the entire system and our Treasure Coast waterways. Of the 28 House conferees named for WRRDA, eight attended the October 3rd Congressional briefing hosted by Rep. Murphy on the state of our local waterways and three of the members are from Florida.
"To address the crisis taking place in our local waterways, we must continue to work together across all levels of government on both short-term and long-term solutions. Last week I met with Sally Ericcson, a top administration official in the President's budget office to follow up on the bipartisan letter I recently sent with several of my colleagues requesting full funding for the second phase of the C-44 Indian River Lagoon project. We discussed the pressing need to move forward more efficiently and expeditiously on Everglades projects such as this, as well as the importance of repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike, to provide relief from toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. I will continue to push the administration to make funding for these vital projects a priority.
"I am also pleased to see the House take an important step forward towards final passage of WRRDA. It is great to see so many members of the conference who are already informed of the pressing need to provide relief to our local waterways due to attending our October 3rd Congressional briefing. I hope to see a final bill as soon as possible that can be passed by both chambers and signed into law by the President so that these important Everglades projects can move forward, improving the health of local waterways."