Florida Delegation Asks Biden for $725 Million for Everglades Restoration

This week, members of the Florida delegation wrote President Joe Biden, requesting an allocation of $725 million for Everglades Restoration in his FY24 budget request.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., and U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., Laurel Lee, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Cory Mills, R-Fla., Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., John Rutherford, R-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., Michael Waltz, R-Fla.,
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Dan Webster, R-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., signed the letter which is below.

“Dear President Biden:

As you prepare your Fiscal Year 2024 budget request, we write to respectfully request an allocation of $725 million under the Army Corps of Engineers construction account for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. The Everglades is a national treasure, one of the true ecological wonders of the world, and further efforts to preserve this unique ecosystem will prove imperative to its long-term viability.

As you know, the Everglades is central to Florida’s economy; its biodiversity is an environmental marvel and is home to one of the world’s largest wetlands. A restored Everglades supports many types of resilience, including economic resilience, ecological resilience, resilience to severe weather events and drought, and a range of resilience impacts for people and communities. A healthy Everglades and appropriate water infrastructure provides storage capacity to prepare for and respond to infusions of significant quantities of water from hurricanes and other severe weather events. Further, intact coastal Everglades ecosystems add protection for the ecology and coastal communities from storm surge events. The Everglades restoration infrastructure provides the ability to manage water effectively and makes Florida’s environment, economy, and communities more resilient to the extreme conditions of drought. In addition, we cannot forget that nine million Floridians rely on the Everglades for their drinking water.

The significance of the Everglades does not go unnoticed for Floridians and our community who have worked together for more than twenty years to restore its cherished wetlands. This continued restoration of America’s Everglades is not only a national, but a global model for large scale ecosystem restoration and infrastructure investment that supports economic vitality, and promotes a wide range of ecological and community resilience benefits. With this in mind, we ask that you join us in building on the many years of upward momentum for a restored Everglades for the people of Florida.

We look forward to unifying our efforts to restore the Everglades as we work to advance vital Everglades restoration projects. Thank you for your consideration of our request for $725 million for Everglades restoration in FY24.”

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