U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and a bipartisan group of Florida congressional delegation members sent a letter today to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke inviting him to visit Florida’s Everglades to get a firsthand look at ongoing efforts to restore the River of Grass.
“As the newest secretary of the interior, we welcome you to visit a unique treasure, America’s Everglades,” the lawmakers wrote. “As secretary, you serve as chairman of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and play a vital role in the effort to restore the balance of water flow and management.”
Nelson, a long-time supporter of restoring the Everglades, brought then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) down to Florida in 2007 to give her a tour of the Everglades. He also brought Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the Senate’s third-ranking Republican, down in February to give him a firsthand look at the River of Grass.
Joining Nelson and Rubio in inviting Zinke are Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Carlos Curbelo, Val Demings, Ron DeSantis, Ted Deutch, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lois Frankel, Matt Gaetz, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Brian Mast, Stephanie Murphy, Bill Posey, Francis Rooney, Tom Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, John Rutherford, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Daniel Webster, Frederica Wilson and Ted Yoho.
Following is the full text of the lawmakers’ letter, and a PDF copy can be found here:
May 18, 2017
The Honorable Ryan Zinke
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Dear Secretary Zinke:
As you continue to travel our great nation as the newest secretary of the interior, we welcome you to visit a unique treasure, America’s Everglades. The only subtropical ecosystem in the continental U.S., the Everglades is home to dozens of endangered and threatened species as well as a diverse array of native wildlife.
The U.S. Department of the Interior plays a critical role in our efforts to restore the balance of this ecosystem. As secretary, you serve as chairman of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and play a vital role in the effort to restore the balance of water flow and management. The Everglades faces numerous challenges, but with a successful state and federal partnership, we are committed to ensuring future generations are able to enjoy this treasured ecosystem.
We realize your schedule is incredibly busy but would be honored to personally show you the River of Grass. Thank you for your consideration as you carry on with the important task of protecting and managing our nation’s natural resources.