President Donald Trump included $250 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) in his budget request which earned praise from across the political spectrum.
The Everglades Foundation and Governor Ron DeSantis and were among many groups issuing effusive praise.
“We want to thank President Trump for listening to the bipartisan Florida Congressional delegation and the more than 40,000 people who contacted the White House expressing their love of America’s Everglades, their desire to solve Florida’s water crisis and their strong support for Everglades restoration,” said Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg. “Today’s reported announcement is a victory for each and every one of them.”
Governor DeSantis has made protecting and conserving Florida’s ecosystems and waterways a priority during his time as Governor. In a letter to President Trump, DeSantis lavished the President with praise while highlighting his own goals as governor: more than $300 million in funding for the project from state coffers.
“President Trump understands that restoring Florida’s Everglades is critical to the economic growth and well-being of our state,” said DeSantis. “This $250 million in federal funding, combined with more than $300 million of state funding for the Everglades in my recommended budget, will help us achieve our long-term environmental goals. The ball is now in Congress’s court to grant the President’s request so we can continue our efforts of restoring one of America’s most prized natural resources.”
The Florida Senate and House have already proposed $319 million and $318 million respectively. The two legislative bodies will vote on a compromise in a few weeks.
The new federal budget proposal for Everglades restoration is $50 million higher than the current federal budget allocation for the Everglades. Trump’s proposal must now earn support in a Democratic House of Representatives along with a Republican-controlled Senate.
If the new money for Everglades restoration survives the Congressional budgeting process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would then decide how to use it.