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Audubon Applauds Federal Move to Advance Critical Everglades Reservoir Project

U.S. Senate Must Now Ensure the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir is Included in 2018 Water Bill

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sean Cooley, Communications Manager, (850) 999-1030, 

MIAMI (July 11, 2018) - After urging by Audubon, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report approving the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir. This allows Congress to include this critical Everglades project in the 2018 Water Resources Development Act, currently under consideration in the U.S Senate. Audubon applauded the move and released the following statement:

“This is great news. With guacamole-thick algae plaguing waterways in America's Everglades, Florida cannot afford any delays in advancing this critical Everglades restoration project," said Celeste De Palma, Audubon's director of Everglades policy. "In less than 48 hours, more than a thousand Audubon advocates called on President Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mulvaney to do the right thing and approve the critical Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir. We are excited the EAA Reservoir is one step closer to becoming a reality."

“We would like to thank Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson; Governor Rick Scott; and Congressmen Brian Mast, Ron DeSantis, and Francis Rooney. They were instrumental in ensuring this project kept moving forward. With last night's Office of Management and Budget approval, the project got to Congress in time to be added to the 2018 Water Bill. For the sake of Florida's waterways and the coastal communities that depend on them, Audubon will continue to work with Congress to ensure this project crosses the finish line this year,” concluded De Palma.

In combination with other restoration projects, the selected plan for the EAA Reservoir will reduce harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries by 56 percent and cut the recurrence of discharge events by 63 percent. The project will also deliver an annual average of 120 billion gallons of clean water to the parched Everglades National Park and Florida Bay and significantly increase much-needed freshwater flows to the south during the dry season.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act in June, in a 408-2 vote. The U.S. Senate is expected to take up a vote on its version of the bill sometime this month. Congressional authorization is required for the project to be eligible for federal funding.


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