This week, U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., pointed to federal funds coming to Florida to begin construction of the embankment contract for the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir.
“Due to the historic size of the project, the administration has committed to take actions that will expedite construction,” Wasserman Schultz ‘s office announced.
“The Biden administration answered my call when I urged him in the 2022 Omnibus to provide the Army Corps with funding to advance construction of this critical embankment contract, a linchpin of our restoration efforts,” said Wasserman Schultz. “And it’s just one part of Biden’s awesome level of support. Last year, the president provided $350 million in Everglades restoration funding, following it up with $1.1 billion more in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Going forward, this White House proposed $407 million in its FY 2023 budget, the highest amount ever. Securing this vital reservoir funding has taken me years, including several futile requests for help to the previous administration. But President Biden’s commitment to Everglades restoration does not waver. His overall funding and this move to expedite the EAA Reservoir proves that.”
Biden included $265 million to build the EAA Reservoir foundation in Fiscal Year 2022. The Army Corps is expected to advertise for the construction contract for the reservoir foundation this summer. The designing and planning for the EAA Reservoir embankment are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“We extend our appreciation to U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her unwavering support of Everglades restoration,” said Eric Eikenberg, the CEO of the Everglades Foundation. “The EAA reservoir is the cornerstone project needed to reduce Lake Okeechobee’s harmful toxic discharges to the coastal estuaries while increasing the flows of clean freshwater south to the Everglades and supporting drinking water security for millions in South Florida. The EAA Reservoir is essential to the restoration of America’s Everglades.”
The EAA Reservoir is considered one of the main components that ties together all the projects in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects, reducing harmful discharges to the northern estuaries, sending more water south, and improving water quality in theEverglades.
“Florida’s economy runs on water. The EAA Reservoir is the most important project for Everglades restoration and reducing harmful discharges to the coastal communities. It’s a win-win for the environment and economy, and we thank the administration for advancing this critical project,” said Anna Upton, the CEO of the Everglades Trust.
“The EAA Reservoir project is the most consequential project for connecting all areas of the Everglades. This funding will provide numerous benefits for the Greater Everglades ecosystem by storing and treating water before moving it throughout the restoration footprint. This is a smart investment and we applaud Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and Florida Congressional delegation for their continued leadership on this matter,” said Julie Hill-Gabriel, the vice president of water conservation of the National Audubon Society.
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