Good news! On January 19, 2022, the White House announced the largest-ever investment of federal funds for Everglades ecosystem restoration.
“America’s Everglades is a national treasure that is also a hard-working landscape: It provides clean water for millions, supports countless local jobs, creates recreation opportunities and protects communities from climate-fueled disasters,” said Jessie Ritter, senior director of water resources and coastal policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “This bold down payment will help bring key projects across the finish line and sustain this iconic ecosystem and the clean water, wildlife and way of life that it supports.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes 1.1 billion for continued Everglades ecosystem restoration.
This funding is on top of the historic $350 million set aside for the Everglades Restoration Project in the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The state of Florida also contributes regularly to these efforts.
“We are elated to see this level of investment in Everglades restoration,” says Audubon Florida’s Director of Everglades Policy, Kelly Cox. “It is clear that restoring this ecosystem remains a bipartisan priority and this funding will expedite many impactful projects this year.”
The funding allocated to the U.S. Army Corps will allow already planned projects under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan to be expedited, hastening the completion of Everglades Restoration.
“This investment in Everglades restoration is unparalleled,” Cox continued. “We are thrilled to see this funding coming through and look forward to the many ecological returns it will provide for the Everglades ecosystem.”
These projects, like the Indian River Lagoon C23/24 Reservoir, the Biscayne Bay and Southern Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Project, and the Western Everglades Restoration Project, will improve the hydrology of the region, safeguard drinking water supplies for South Florida, improve water quality, and increase the region’s resilience.
“Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Florida will be receiving the biggest infusion of federal funding for Everglades restoration projects in our state’s history,” said Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21).
“The Everglades is a beautiful and delicate ecosystem that serves as drinking water for more than eight million Floridians and home to hundreds of endangered plant and animal species. This new funding will significantly boost efforts to make sure that this unique and vibrant environment is kept alive and thriving for future generations,” she added.
Photo of Wood Stork and Roseate Spoonbills in Everglades National Park is by John Studwell/Audubon Photography Awards.