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VIDEO: Rubio Continues To Push For Vital Everglades Restoration Project

Apr 21, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today filed an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations Act that would authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), and reiterated the importance of its authorization on the Senate floor.
 
Rubio is a longtime advocate for the restoration project, which would allow 70 billion gallons of water to be sent south to protect the ecology and economy of three major estuaries. He supported its authorization in 2014 and has continued to push for the project’s final approval.
 
“The Florida Everglades are a national treasure, and we have to work together to restore these lands,” said Rubio. “[T]his year we have a real chance to get this done. Thanks to the good work of Chairman Inhofe, of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, I expect the Central Everglades Planning Project to be included in the forthcoming water bill, which is slated to be marked up in committee next week.”
 
A PDF of the legislation, To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project, Florida, is available here.
 
Watch his speech here. For television stations interested in airing a broadcast quality version of his speech, download it here.
 
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Senate Floor Speech
April 21, 2016
 
Senator Marco Rubio: “I filed today two amendments very important to my home state of Florida that I wanted to discuss. The first is an amendment that would authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project. 
 
“The Florida Everglades are a national treasure, and we have to work together to restore these lands.
 
“The State has experienced, for example, a wetter than average winter. The rains have elevated the levels of Lake Okeechobee that have triggered the Army Corps of Engineers to discharge billions of gallons of water to the east through the Saint Lucie River, and to the west through the Caloosahatchee River. These discharges have been ongoing for months and have negatively impacted the delicate ecosystems in the area, as well as the agricultural and tourism industries.
 
“In order to diminish these discharges, we must authorize the Central Everglades Planning Project. Once complete, this project will allow water to flow south from Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park and the Florida Bay.
 
“I had hoped that this project would be authorized in 2014 by the Administration, but it delayed the Army Corps of Engineers’ Chiefs’ report, which is the final step before Congress can authorize new projects.
 
“But this year we have a real chance to get this done. Thanks to the good work of Chairman Inhofe, of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, I expect the Central Everglades Planning Project to be included in the forthcoming water bill, which is slated to be marked up in committee next week. 

“As such, I will not ask for a vote on this amendment today, but I want to draw attention to this essential Everglades restoration project.
 
“I am hopeful this body can come together to restore our Everglades, but in the meantime, I will continue to push for this vital authorization.”