Governor Ron DeSantis was today joined by Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Brian Mast, Congressman Byron Donalds, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Shawn Hamilton, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) Wes Brooks, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and other stakeholders to call on the Biden Administration to allocate the funding necessary to timely advance the federal portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project. Additionally, Governor DeSantis requested the Biden Administration include at least $725 million for Everglades restoration in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.
“The EAA Reservoir project is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration, providing relief from harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Advancing the state’s portion of this project is our number one priority, but the federal government has stalled, most recently failing to dedicate a single cent from its infrastructure package to its portion of this project. The Biden Administration must reverse course and dedicate the funds necessary to timely advance their portion of this important project. Florida is doing its part and the Biden administration needs to follow the path blazed by the Trump administration and provide the promised federal support.”
Everglades restoration is a 50/50 partnership between the state and federal government, but the federal government has long lagged behind the state’s investments in projects. The EAA Reservoir Project is one of the most important Everglades restoration projects for reducing harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades. Governor DeSantis expedited this critical Everglades project on his second day in office with the signing of Executive Order 19-12. Recently, the Biden Administration announced a $1.1 billion one-time investment for Everglades restoration, but the funding was dedicated to other projects that, while part of the important work to restore the Everglades, will not help to meaningfully reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee.
Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has secured record Everglades restoration funding to support the EAA Reservoir and other key projects and signed important environmental legislation into law, including the Clean Waterways Act. This historic and sustained funding has allowed the state to expedite important Everglades restoration projects. Since Governor DeSantis took office, 43 Everglades restoration projects have broken ground, hit a major milestone, or finished construction.
The EAA Reservoir Project is a joint Everglades restoration project between the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida continues to take the lead in Everglades restoration. The South Florida Water Management District began building the water-cleansing marsh called a Stormwater Treatment Area in 2020.