CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - More than a billion dollars is flowing into Florida to help the Everglades, marking the largest investment ever to save the swamp.
The Everglades received $1.1 billion, which will help restore and preserve the river of grass.
“This is historic, tremendous funding, the largest amount of funding from either the state or the federal government in history,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “This will fund projects that will significantly advance our efforts to restore the sheet water flow in the river of grass. More progress will be made as a result of this allocation than we’ve ever had before.”
The money comes from the infrastructure bill President Biden signed into law last November, and South Florida lawmakers are excited.
“To see Florida finally receiving this long-overdue assistance is incredibly rewarding,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. “Serving as the only Florida Democrat on the Transportation Infrastructure Committee, I have fought tooth and nail for nearly a decade to secure this funding.”
The funding will be put to use right away, with plans and projects ready to go.
“It’s the Broward County Water Preserve areas, Sea Eleven Impound Projects, Indian River lagoons, Sea 2324 North Reservoir, Central Everglades Planning Project South, 356 Pump Station Feature Biscayne Bay and Southern Everglades Ecosystem Restoration and the Western Everglades Restoration Project,” said Schultz.
More than eight million Floridians rely on the Florida Everglades for drinking water, so there are projects in the works to make sure it’s clean.
“To be able to fully work towards the implementation of the Central Everglades Project to link Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Keys together to flow water south as God had intended it to happen,” said Eric Eikenberg with the Everglades Foundation. “These infrastructure dollars are vitally important.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the Florida Everglades the largest chunk from the funding pool. Lawmakers said this decision will affect generations to come.
“It’s going to increase resilience to the impact of climate change, and I think the most important thing I can say is that, as the grandmother of two young boys growing up in South Florida, this is a very special announcement for them and all our children and grandchildren,” said U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
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