On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., sent a letter to President Donald Trump, which every member of the Florida delegation signed, “encouraging the administration’s continued support of Everglades restoration and water quality infrastructure projects.”
Rooney, who is now starting his second term in Congress, weighed in on why he had rounded up the other members of the Florida delegation to sign the letter.
“The single biggest issue impacting our Southwest Florida community is water quality,” Rooney said on Wednesday. “Our economy is forever tied to our ecology, and clean water flowing through our rivers, streams and estuaries is the lifeblood of that ecology. We are thankful for the record level of funding that was allocated last year for both the Herbert Hoover Dike and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects – a total of over $1 billion. It is critical that we maintain these funding levels so that we may more quickly complete the projects necessary to fix our water.
“The fact that all of our delegation, Republican and Democrat, is united in this cause, is proof of the Everglades’ importance to the future of our state,” Rooney added.
Rooney’s office showcased the issue on Wednesday
“Joined with $206 million previously appropriated by the House, a total of $610 million will be set aside to complete the Herbert Hoover Dike repairs by 2022 instead of the end of the decade. Every year saved completing these repairs is a year that harmful releases into our ecosystem will stop sooner. Congressman Rooney has successfully fought for funding to complete CERP projects, united the Florida delegation and personally brought House leadership to Southwest Florida to see the watershed first hand. These efforts have led to a record $115 million set aside for CERP in the FY2019 budget. In total, nearly $1.1 billion has been appropriated for dike repairs and CERP projects in FY 2018 and FY 2019,” Rooney’s office noted.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.