U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL), U.S. Senator Rick Scott (FL) and U.S. Congressman Francis Rooney (FL-19) today released the following joint statement after President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request to Congress failed to include sufficient funding for Everglades restoration efforts, including the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir. Together, they had urged the President to include a commitment of $200 million in construction funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER).
“For the third year in a row, the administration’s budget request underfunds critical projects in South Florida. It is incredibly short-sighted to continue to underfund a series of projects that are absolutely necessary to ensure the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of one of the most dynamic regions of our nation,” the Members said in a joint statement. “Everglades restoration is critically important to the State of Florida and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. Failing to meet the basic federal funding commitments to restore the Everglades is contrary to the administration’s goal of improving project partnerships and cost-sharing with states. Successive Florida Governors have remained committed to this goal, pushing state funding of this 50/50 federal-state partnership to historic highs. Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers envisioned a $200 million per year federal commitment when the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was first authorized nearly 20 years ago, and it is time for the administration to meet that commitment.”
Rep. Mast has been a vocal advocate for increasing funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and led the charge in Congress to authorize the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir. Additional information on the legislation Rep. Mast wrote to authorize the reservoir can be found here. Despite this obstacle, Rep. Mast will continue fighting to secure the necessary resources to fund these critical water infrastructure projects.