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Governor Ron DeSantis Calls on Biden Administration to Prioritize Funding for the EAA Reservoir Project

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WELLINGTON, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis called on the Biden Administration to allocate the funding necessary to timely advance the federal portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project. Additionally, Governor DeSantis requested the Biden Administration include at least $725 million for Everglades restoration in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. The full press release can be found here.

“The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration and is the single most important project for reducing harmful discharges and sending more water south,” said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. “I am grateful that Governor DeSantis, Congressman Mast, and Congressman Donalds continue to prioritize this critically important project for our state. Unfortunately, the Biden administration did not allocate a single dollar for the project. I will continue to fight to fund the EAA Reservoir and do everything in my power to prevent the Biden bureaucracy from undermining this vital project.”

“Time and time again President Biden has proven that he cares more about politics than Florida’s people,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Mast. “He simply cannot claim to support the Everglades while delaying the most crucial project, the EAA reservoir. This reservoir is critical to sending more water south and stopping toxic discharges to the estuaries, yet President Biden has now delayed the project and stubbornly refused to allocate any funding for it in his infrastructure bill. Thankfully, Governor DeSantis has led a massive state investment in this critical infrastructure because President Biden and the Army Corps don’t seem to care that Americans are being poisoned on their watch.”

“The EAA Reservoir is one of the key projects within the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan that has mutual benefit to both coasts by helping reduce harmful discharges on our estuaries and restoring the natural flow of the Everglades,” said U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds. “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership and commitment to Florida’s environment. The time has long passed for the federal government to join Florida in these efforts to restore the system of the Florida Everglades.”

“Under the Governor’s leadership, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District are expediting key Everglades restoration projects across South Florida,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “Florida will continue to prioritize the EAA Reservoir Project as part of our unwavering commitment to reducing harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges and getting more water into the Everglades. We encourage our federal partners to match the state’s sense of urgency.”

“We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ steadfast commitment to the EAA Reservoir Project, reducing harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges, and sending more water south to the Everglades,” said Chauncey Goss, Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board. “Because of the Governor’s leadership and support from the Florida Legislature, the South Florida Water Management District continues to expedite the state’s portion of the EAA Reservoir Project. Now, we look to our federal partners to match Florida’s urgency on this project and continue funding Everglades projects across the region.”

“The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir, to be built south of Lake Okeechobee, is the most important project in the entire Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and this is something Governor Ron DeSantis has led on,” said Eric Eikenberg CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “There is bipartisan support for advancing this project that will send water south to replenish the Everglades and Florida Bay, while also protecting the water supply for 9 million Floridians. No project will play a bigger role in reducing algae-causing discharges from Lake Okeechobee, with the added benefit of massive carbon sequestration to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. We hope the President’s budget request includes at least $725 million to enable the Jacksonville District to expedite this project and continue the momentum to restore America’s Everglades.”

“Funding the EAA Reservoir is an extremely important investment in Florida’s future,” said Capt. Daniel Andrews, Executive Director of Captains for Clean Water. “As the heart of Everglades restoration, this project will provide the greatest reduction in devastating discharges to our coastal estuaries and provide the capacity to clean and convey more water south. Thankfully for all Floridians, Governor DeSantis recognizes the importance of the EAA Reservoir and understands the impact this will have on Florida’s economy and $85.9 billion tourism industry. We are grateful for Governor DeSantis’ leadership in calling on the feds to make this necessary investment and deliver on their share of this 50-50 partnership.”

“Everglades restoration is about more than preserving an incomparable landscape. It’s also about sustaining the quality of life for millions of Floridians,” said Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks. “By recreating historic water flow volumes and patterns we can boost the resilience benefits that the Everglades and our coastal wetlands and coral reefs provide to communities in southeast Florida. That’s why accelerating completion of the EAA Reservoir is so critical to our resilience work.”

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