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Audubon Cheers U.S. House Approval of EAA Reservoir Project in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

Audubon Urges Senate to Approve This Critical Everglades Restoration Project

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

MIAMI – The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 unanimously passed the U.S. House today. The bill includes authorization of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir, a critical Everglades restoration project advanced by the State of Florida in response to the harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges hurting South Florida’s coastal communities. This bill builds upon the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 that passed the House in June and provides additional projects and programs. It now heads to the Senate, where Audubon is advocating for its approval.
“This is good news for America’s Everglades. Thousands of Audubon supporters urged Congress and the White House to advance the EAA Reservoir project in the last few months. With toxic algae blooms plaguing South Florida’s coasts, the need for action on water policy has never been clearer,” said Celeste De Palma, director of Everglades policy at Audubon Florida. “With yet another extreme hurricane year predicted and recent increased hurricane activity, restoration projects in America’s Everglades cannot afford any more delays. Extreme weather strains Florida’s water management systems and creates more favorable conditions for algal blooms. Today’s overwhelming bipartisan support for a water infrastructure bill that authorizes the EAA Reservoir is a nod to South Florida’s wildlife and families that depend on clean water. We urge Senate leadership to do what’s right and pass this vital legislation immediately. They hold hope for America’s Everglades in their hands. Let’s get it done.”
After urging by Audubon and other Everglades advocates, the Florida Legislature advanced the EAA Reservoir in Senate Bill 10 in 2017. State officials then submitted the project for federal approval. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a similar Water Resources Development Act in June that included placeholder language authorizing the project, anticipating a required review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The House’s vote today presents a clear path for Senate action on a compromise bill that addresses pending House and Senate priorities, including authorization for the EAA Reservoir. If approved by the Senate, it will be sent to the President for final action. Congressional authorization is required for the project to be eligible for federal funding.

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