Water Resources Development Act provides critical funding to improve water quality, infrastructure
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act which, among many provisions, would provide funding for critical water infrastructure projects, including reservoirs and restoration projects aimed at improving water quality in and around the Florida Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and estuaries. Florida anglers in particular are applauding Rep. Brian Mast and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who were instrumental in creating critical parts of the Act and have been relentless in their pursuit of cleaning up Florida’s waterways.
In recent years, Florida has been plagued by a host of water quality issues stemming from decades of rapid development that disrupted the natural flow of water through natural waterways and ultimately south to the Everglades. CCA Florida and a huge coalition of concerned angling and conservation groups have fought for years for funding and infrastructure projects to begin to repair the damage and restore natural waterflow to the greatest extent possible.
“With the passage of this bill, Florida will see much needed help in funding for Everglades projects and water issues around the state,” said Michael Kennedy, chairman of CCA Florida’s Water Committee. “We greatly appreciate that Congress recognizes the severity of the situation here and what is at stake if we don’t take drastic actions now to deal with problems that have been building for decades. We have a long way to go, but continued support from Congress on WRDA and other projects will help us continue the fight for better water quality.”
If approved by the Senate and signed into law, WRDA would accelerate construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir, help to minimize harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, and help restore the Loxahatchee river’s natural flow. WRDA will now be considered by the Senate which is expected to pass the bill this week and send it to the President for his signature.