Our Treasure Coast is home to one of the most beautiful and diverse estuaries in the United States. The Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River are major attractions for our vibrant, tourism based economy and the keystone to what makes us one of the best places to live, start a business, and raise a family.
As many of you know, I have made water quality and environmental restoration my primary focus in Tallahassee. Our goal is to once and for all solve the Lake Okeechobee discharges and historic septic tank, and nutrient loading issues that contribute to the degradation of our lagoon ecosystems and our regional health.
A healthy balance between humans and our environment can be reached with reasonable goals, effective policy, and every resident doing their part to help. To that end, President Donald Trump’s administration is a champion for our environment.
President Trump is dedicated to protecting America’s pristine natural environments, and has funded countless restoration projects. On March 3, 2020, President Trump called for the permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Upon its passage by Congress, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act, the most significant action taken by any President since our great Conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt to conserve, protect, and restore our public lands.
The act provides half of all receipts from energy development on federal lands and waters, up to $1.9 billion per year for five years, to address facility and infrastructure needs, and permanently funds the LWCF with $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country.
President Trump is an advocate for America’s unique and pristine ecosystems. From Florida to Alaska, North Carolina to Arizona, the Trump Administration has encouraged high standards of environmental mitigation, protection and safety when developing our nation’s abundant natural resources.
Our President has delivered infrastructure upgrades and investments for numerous environmental restoration projects throughout the country, and his 2021 budget proposes $250 million in annual funding to construct new Everglades infrastructure as part of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration.
Let me repeat, $250 million in annual Everglades restoration funding. These projects aim to reinvigorate the Everglades, enhance regional water storage capacity, and reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee, helping address the problem of algal blooms and cyanotoxins.
No Federal elected official in recent history has taken more significant measures to protect and restore our environment than President Trump. We have a lot of smart scientists who know what our water quality issues are and they know how to solve them, but the funding is where the rubber meets the road.
By allocating the resources, our local professionals now can address many of the issues that we’ve had on our wish lists for, quite literally, decades.
President Trump, like Teddy Roosevelt, understands the environment and our residents can coexist in harmony if we all do our part to be conservationists at home, on the water, or at the grocery store.
As a restoration biologist, I can tell the difference between throwing money at an environmental issue to “do something” versus truly understanding the root causes of our environmental issues and addressing them. President Trump’s administration gets it, and we will ultimately benefit from his administration’s environmental leadership.
Rep. Toby Overdorf is a Republican representing Florida House District 83 covering parts of St. Lucie and Martin counties.