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SCCF Joins 11 Orgs Requesting Federal Funding for Everglades Restoration

April 29, 2024
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SCCF joined 11 other environmental and conservation organizations in a joint letter to the House and Senate Subcommittees on Energy and Water Development to request $725 million in federal funding supporting Everglades restoration and related projects.

“Ensuring we aren’t delayed on critical Everglades restoration projects is one of the most effective ways of protecting Florida’s ecosystems, our communities, and our economies,” said SCCF CEO James Evans. “Dozens of Everglades restoration milestones have been reached over the last five years, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the strong partnership and cooperation between the State of Florida and the federal government.”

Specifically, the letter calls for $725 million to go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration construction account in the FY 2025 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This funding will allow the Army Corps to work towards completion of the milestones outlined in its Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS), which is the implementation plan for restoration projects designed to deliver numerous benefits to the Greater Everglades and to Florida’s communities.

As in years past, this investment would be matched dollar-for-dollar from the State of Florida as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

The letter highlights the organizations’ concerns due to current conditions.

“In February, the Army Corps began releasing high volume discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers and estuaries to lower lake levels. Although these discharges were paused on March 29, the coastal estuaries are already beginning to experience the ramifications of the unnatural volumes of polluted water damaging water quality, and endangering vital oyster, seagrass, and fish spawning habitats,” the letter states. “Water levels in the lake remain high heading towards warmer months, threatening to produce another ‘lost summer’ of toxic blue-green algae for Florida’s coastal communities, including communities still recovering from Hurricane Ian. We must maintain the current momentum for restoration to advance the critical infrastructure projects necessary significantly reduce these tragic scenarios in the future.”

Along with SCCF, signatures came from:

  • The Audubon Society
  • Audubon Florida
  • Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • Everglades Foundation
  • Everglades Law Center
  • Everglades Trust
  • Florida Oceanographic Society
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Tropical Audubon Society
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Read the letter.


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