Today, a Congressional Conference Report was filed on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that includes four Everglades restoration projects - the C-111 Spreader Canal, Broward County Water Preserve Areas, Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands, and the C-43 Caloosahatchee Storage Reservoir.
In the coming weeks, the Conference Report will go before both the House and Senate for final passage. This marks the first time in seven years that new Everglades restoration projects can be federally authorized and funded. Authorization of four new projects lays the foundation for significant progress in Everglades restoration. Audubon is disappointed that the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) is not included in the Conference Report. In order to continue progress, the next WRRDA legislation cannot wait another seven years.
Eric Draper, Audubon Florida executive director issued the following statement:
“The Everglades projects included in WRRDA will provide diverse benefits for Florida's birds and wildlife. Passage of this bill is a clear signal from Congress that the River of Grass is still a national priority. Audubon applauds the impressive bi-partisan effort from Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Daniel Webster, Rep. Lois Frankel and others. The efforts of these legislators will benefit Florida’s environment, economy, and the one in three Floridians that get their drinking water from the Everglades. Now we call on Rep. Shuster and Sen. Boxer to follow through on their promises to begin work on the next water resources bill so that Congress can authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP).”
For more information on the Conference Report from the US House of Representatives website, please click here.