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Biden administration announces $1 billion for Everglades Restoration

Biden administration announces $1 billion for Everglades Restoration

The Biden administration announced Wednesday an historic increase in Everglades funding. It plans to spend an unprecedented $1.1 Billion to restore South Florida’s famous wilderness.

In a statement Wednesday, the White House stated that the Administration has made the largest single investment in Everglades history. The iconic American landscape supplies drinking water for more than 8 million Floridians and supports the state’s $90 billion tourism industry. It also houses dozens of endangered or threatened species.

The funding will be made available to the Army Corps of Engineers under the administrations infrastructure spending package that aims to strengthen roads, bridges and ports.

There are many projects that will restore or at least replicate the natural flow of water through the Everglades. Urban development and farming have caused the loss of approximately half of the region’s 40-mile-wide, 100-mile-long size. The rest of the region is affected by insufficient water supply, due to diversion through canals and, in certain areas, too much water.

The restoration plan calls to remove levees, fill in canals, store fresh water, and other projects that will allow Everglades wildlife to thrive.

The White House announced that the Army Corps will invest $1.1 million through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to restore, preserve, and protect South Florida’s ecosystem and increase its resilience against the effects of climate change. These funds will support improvements in the Everglades by capturing water runoff from the surface, reducing water release to water conservation areas and minimizing seepage during dry periods.

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Related: Army Corps completes reservoir for Everglades restoration

South Florida is seeing the effects of human activity on the Everglades in many ways. These include toxic algae blooms, wildfires, and greatly diminished wading bird flocks. The Everglades restoration program was approved in 2000. It has been a costly failure and is now years behind schedule. The cost of restoration work will be split by the federal government and the state.

The Everglades are the lifeblood of South Florida. This historic funding commitment from the Biden administration will allow us to move much more aggressively to restore and protect the natural flow of water that is the largest environmental restoration effort in American history, stated Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Weston), co-chairperson for the House Everglades Caucus.

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