At the urging of Florida Congressman Brian Mast, the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a critical increase in funding for Everglades restoration.
The appropriations package will nearly triple funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration, which funds the Everglades Agricultural Area Southern Storage Reservoir Project, from $67.5 million in FY 2019 to $200 million for FY 2020.
“After a year of fighting tooth and nail, today Congress finally stopped kicking the can down the road and came together to triple funding for Everglades restoration projects, including the southern storage reservoir,” Mast said. “This is a huge victory for the Everglades and our fight to stop harmful discharges.”
In addition to funding Everglades restoration, Mast also fought for and secured additional water quality funding, including:
- $100 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Environmental Restoration or Compliance programs, which can be used for Everglades restoration projects;
- $100 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Environmental Infrastructure programs, which can be used for additional restoration programs in Florida;
- $10 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration programs, which can be used for additional restoration programs in Florida;
- $29.8 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Estuary Program;
- $4.8 million for the EPA’s South Florida Geographic Program;
- $10 million for the National Parks Service operations of Everglades National Park restoration initiatives;
- $8.3 million for the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct research into Everglades restoration;
- $50.1 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shore protection projects;
- $19 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Science and Assessment Program;
- $14 million for NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Acidification Program.
This appropriations bill is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump in the coming days.