SCCF Advocates for Everglades Restoration
For this year’s Everglades Day of Action, SCCF CEO James Evans and Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to urge federal leaders to fund the restoration of America’s Everglades.
SCCF joined our partners at the Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, the Everglades Trust, and Orvis to advocate for urgent action to continue annual appropriations.
“Our ask is simple. We need $725 million in federal funding to match state funding to keep critical projects on schedule with the Army Corps’ Integrated Delivery Schedule,” said Evans. “Without this funding, projects like the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir, a project essential to reducing damaging discharges to the Caloosahatchee, will be delayed.”
They also reminded legislators that taxpayers receive a return of $4 for every $1 spent in the Everglades, benefiting our environment, drinking water, flood control, fisheries, rookeries, wetlands, and other important natural resources.
“We are here to explain to our legislators and federal appropriators why restoring America’s Everglades is an excellent investment,” said DePaolis. “Last year saw a groundswell of support for Everglades projects, with the Army Corps breaking ground on key components, and it is imperative to maintain the momentum in order to get CERP across the finish line.”
South Florida’s tourism-based economy relies on its unique natural resources, in a system that would not exist without the Everglades. From seagrass meadows and mangrove wetlands to the only barrier coral reef in the nation, south Florida’s ecosystems rely on clean water and interconnected natural spaces.
“The Everglades is more than an environment where we live, work, and play. It is the engine that drives our economy, cleans our water, and is a critical tool in the fight against climate change,” added Evans.
Florida’s sport fishing industry brings anglers from all over the world to catch their trophies in our legendary waters. With them comes an entire economy built around ensuring that tourists are able to continue to enjoy our natural resources.
The Everglades is essential to ensuring that we have healthy waters and protected nurseries to keep our sport fish populations healthy. While the restoration projects are planned, Congress must appropriate funding every year. To read an explanation by Orvis on the importance of continued funding, click here.