Water Quality Issues
Positive bi-partisan actions by members of Florida's Congressional Delegation the last week of April should help provide some future relief to South Florida's estuaries and the Everglades.
Funding for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), part of the broader Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), was included in an important federal water bill which is starting to make its way to the appropriate congressional committees this week.  The 2016 Water Resources Development Act's (WRDA) first hearing was held on Thursday, April 28 in the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee.  WRDA is the required federal funding mechanism for all water and infrastructure initiatives nationwide, and all projects are subject to the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
CEPP is designed to send billions of gallons of water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida's Everglades by re-engineering some of the drainage canals and levee systems in South Florida which were constructed decades ago.  It includes storage and treatment of water on existing public lands, which will then travel south and eventually flow through sloughs in Everglades National Park and into Florida Bay.  Although CEPP projects alone will not provide all the relief the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries require, nor all the fresh water desperately needed in the Park and in Florida Bay, they will help provide important relief to these stressed systems and will provide water authorities additional management tools.
CCA Florida continues to support actions which accelerate CEPP and CERP funding at the state and federal levels, and encourages CCA members to contact Florida's congressional delegation members to urge them to continue to aggressively fund projects which will advance vital estuary relief and Everglades restoration efforts.  These projects must continue to be a priority in order to preserve Florida's marine environment.

Senator Bill Nelson

Senator Marco Rubio

To identify your U.S. Congressional Representative, please use the following link: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
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