This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., showcased their proposed “South Florida Ecosystem Enhancement Act.”
The bill, which they introduced last week, will “reauthorize and reform the South Florida Geographic Program (SFGP) to support ecosystem restoration and monitoring efforts across the contiguous aquatic ecosystems of southern Florida.” The bill would set aside $50 million a year for the next five years for the SFGP.
The Everglades Foundation, Audubon Florida, the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation are backing the proposal.
“Restoring South Florida’s Ecosystems is crucial because these habitats are the beating heart of Florida’s lifestyle and economy,” Rubio said. “Reauthorizing the South Florida Geographic Program is an important step to restoring these unique habitats.”
“South Florida includes some of the nation’s most rich ecosystems expanding from the Everglades to the Florida Keys,” Gimenez said. “It’s an honor to partner with Senator Marco Rubio to introduce the South Florida Ecosystem Enhancement Act. Our bill reauthorizes the South Florida Geographic Program and helps get much-needed money to South Florida ecological restoration projects. These projects will help preserve South Florida’s precious ecosystems for generations to come.”
“This is a historic investment in the South Florida Geographic Program. We applaud Senator Rubio and Representative Gimenez for their commitment to reauthorizing this important effort to advance conservation goals across the South Florida footprint,” said Julie Wraithmell, the executive director of Audubon Florida
Six Florida Republicans–U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Maria Elvira Salazar, Greg Steube and Michael Waltz–are backing Gimenez’s bill which was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Rubio has not garnered any co-sponsors yet for his bill which was sent to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
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