Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to help deliver relief to Florida communities plagued with algal blooms by bringing the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, also referred as the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), for a vote in the Senate as soon as possible. The bill includes the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir project, which would help to mitigate future environmental and human health impacts of lake discharges.
Upon Florida’s approval of a plan to design and construct the EAA Storage Reservoir, Rubio has consistently worked to ensure the project would be included in the 2018 WRDA bill. His June request to Director Mick Mulvaney was critical to securing an announcement by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formalizing the Administration’s approval of the EAA Storage Reservoir project to be eligible for authorization by Congress. An extended timeline of Rubio’s efforts to fight the South Florida algal blooms can be found here.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Leaders McConnell and Schumer:
We write to ask that you bring the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, also referred as the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), for a vote in the Senate as soon as possible. Communities in South Florida are under siege by massive algal blooms spreading from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. The Senate bill includes an important project, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir, which would help to mitigate future environmental and human health impacts of lake discharges.
Currently, the bill awaits full Senate consideration while Floridians are enduring an environmental and economic crisis caused by these pervasive, toxic algae blooms. We have a responsibility to our constituents to pass this legislation as quickly as possible.
The EAA Storage Reservoir is a critical piece of the puzzle for ending Lake Okeechobee discharges and the harmful algal blooms they help fuel. We urge you to bring the WRDA bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible so that we can advance this key project. Thank you for your consideration of this time-sensitive request.