U.S. Senate Authorizes Everglades Reservoir on Oct 10, 2018 - SanCapRE.com




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U.S. Senate Authorizes Everglades Reservoir on Oct 10, 2018
Posted October 13, 2018


Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Floridians along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend as Hurricane Michael makes landfall. Yet even as Florida faces this environmental disaster, in Washington today, the U.S. Senate put us on the road to solving another environmental issue in South Florida.

This all started two years ago with a 12-day, 22-city bus tour that crisscrossed Florida to raise awareness of the need for the Everglades Reservoir, which advanced to the floor of the United States Senate on October 10, 2018, where a 99 to 1 majority approved legislation that includes federal authorization for this long-overdue project. 

With the U.S. House of Representatives having approved identical legislation earlier, the project that we fought so hard for now moves to the White House for signature. This is a milestone moment for Everglades restoration and every one of us can be proud of our efforts: together, we mobilized tens of thousands of Floridians and folks from every state in the Union, who made their voices heard from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C., demanding action.

But we can’t stop now, because our real work has just begun. The history of Everglades restoration is littered with bold steps forward that gave way to inactivity.  Projects that began in earnest have been abandoned and delayed – lost to inertia and public apathy. We cannot let that happen this time. If we are going to end Florida’s water crisis and restore America’s Everglades, we must learn from the lessons of the past and carefully chart our path forward. That’s really what this email is about: not celebration, but next steps.

 

 

FIRST STEP:

NO DELAYS, BEGIN CONSTRUCTION

 

 

The entire 16,000 acres that will be occupied by the Everglades Reservoir is already owned by the State of Florida; there is no excuse for delay in moving forward with site preparation and moving dirt. We must work with Florida’s next Governor and the Legislature to ensure that construction is completed within the new Governor’s first four year term. The Everglades Reservoir project site preparation and construction must beginin April 2019, following the expiration of the current agricultural lease.

 

 

SECOND STEP:

SHOW US THE MONEY

 

 

Even now, the Trump administration is working to prepare its 2019-2020 federal budget. It is critical that the budget include at least $200 million for Everglades restoration projects so we can implement the science-based infrastructure solutions – like the Everglades Reservoir – that have been on the books for over 18 years. The State of Florida has already dedicated $264 million each year to meet the state’s 50 percent cost share, and we cannot allow this crisis to continue because of inadequate federal funding. Once again, we must be persistent in our efforts to convince federal (and state) lawmakers to remain true to their commitments.

 

 

PLENTY OF WORK AHEAD,

BUT STILL, A TIME TO CELEBRATE

 

 

As you can see, we have plenty of work to do before the Everglades Reservoir is a reality, and we face a huge challenge to make sure that once the dust settles on the 2018 elections we can work with the new leadership to ensure that the reservoir is completed in four years, not ten or fifteen. The Everglades Reservoir would never have reached the U.S. Senate without your persistent efforts and generosity!

 

 

Posted By: Everglades Foundation
October 13, 2018 06:20 PM




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