A federal budget signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday includes $200 million for the Everglades.
State leaders say the funding will be critical for environmental improvements around Florida’s largest lake.
“President Trump has followed through on his promise to deliver for Florida and America’s Everglades,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
“This investment in Everglades restoration will build on our efforts at the state level for critical projects like the EAA Reservoir, the Caloosahatchee Reservoir and the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. I look forward to continuing to work with the President and our local, state and federal partners on preserving and restoring Florida’s environment.”
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott requested the Everglades funding with DeSantis’ support.
The $200 million appropriation includes a $130-million increase in Everglades restoration funding over last year. That will advance funding for the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Project, among other efforts.
The creation of the additional reservoir will cut the discharge of blue-green algae into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers, which have led to economically and ecologically devastating algal blooms in recent years.
Noah Valenstein, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, said the funding marked a great day for the Everglades.
“Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Gov. DeSantis, this federal appropriation coupled with unprecedented state funding will allow us to expedite Everglades restoration, improve water quality and reduce harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries,” Valenstein said.
Meanwhile, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chair Chauncey Goss heralded the funding as critical to the region’s future.
“Restoring America’s Everglades is critical to the ecological and economic health of South Florida,” Goss said. “That’s why we joined Gov. DeSantis earlier this year to urge federal lawmakers to fully fund Everglades restoration and help save our famed River of Grass.
“Coupled with the Governor’s record-setting state budget proposal, federal funding secured by President Trump will advance some of the most critical Everglades restoration projects including the Caloosahatchee Reservoir and the EAA Reservoir Project. Thank you to Gov. DeSantis, Senators Rubio and Scott, and the entire Florida Congressional Delegation for championing America’s Everglades in Washington. It is a great day for the Glades.”
DeSantis’ proposed state budget includes $625 million in water quality improvements, including $322 million for Everglades restoration.