Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed the final version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) and other provisions benefiting Florida:
“The passage of this water projects bill is great news, because we now have the opportunity to make real progress in restoring the Everglades and combatting the toxic algae threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Florida families and businesses. The Everglades is a national treasure that belongs to all Americans, and we must preserve it for future generations to learn from and enjoy. CEPP is a key piece of that puzzle, and other Florida provisions in the bill will help protect our coastlines, assess conditions of our oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico, modernize a key port, study flood control in Daytona Beach, and reduce hurricane and storm damage to Flagler County and Ft. Pierce. I thank all of my colleagues who have worked tirelessly to get this bill done, but especially Chairman Inhofe, whose leadership and cooperation has been immeasurable. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law. This is a big achievement for Florida’s future and one of the things I’m most proud of accomplishing during my first term.
“While there are many provisions in this bill benefiting Florida, I am extremely disappointed a controversial provision was added in the House to strike language dealing with the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river systems from the 2014 water bill. This was done despite the objections of members from two states being harmed by Georgia. These vital river systems have far-reaching environmental and economic impacts, and any changes should have waited until after Florida and Georgia’s litigation before the Supreme Court is decided.”
South Florida leaders have commended Rubio’s leadership and work to restore the Everglades and improve the quality of Florida’s waterways. Rubio’s efforts ultimately convinced Senate Environment & Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe to support CEPP. Following the Senate’s passage of WRDA in September, Rubio urged key House and Senate committee leaders of both parties to retain important Florida projects in the final version of WRDA.
The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Obama in the coming days.