PALMETTO BAY, Fla. — Late Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA) by a vote of 408-2, which includes a path forward for authorization of the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir (Everglades reservoir).
Once constructed, the reservoir will store up to 78.2 billion gallons of excess water from Lake Okeechobee, significantly alleviating discharges of lake water to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. The reservoir plan developed by the South Florida Water Management District was recently approved by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“The Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District are to be applauded, as both agencies acted with diligence and speed, reflecting the importance of the Everglades Reservoir to Florida and to America’s Everglades,” said Shannon Estenoz, Chief Operating Officer of The Everglades Foundation.
Once OMB approves the project it will be eligible for inclusion in the Senate version of the bill, which we hope will move to the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
“We urge OMB to review and approve the Everglades reservoir plan quickly and submit it to the Senate,” Estenoz said.
We recognize the leadership of U.S. Representatives Bill Shuster (R-PA), Garret Graves (R-LA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Grace Napolitano (D-CA) in passing this important bipartisan measure, and we are particularly grateful for Rep. Brian Mast’s (R-FLA) efforts to advance the Everglades reservoir.
About Everglades Foundation
The Everglades Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to leading efforts to restore and protect the greater Everglades ecosystem. Since its founding in 1993 by a group of local outdoor enthusiasts, the Foundation has become a respected and important advocate for the sustainability of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. For more information, please visit EvergladesFoundation.org.