Federal government commits $1.1 billion to restore ailing Florida Everglades – CBS Miami

PLANTATION KEY (CBSMiami) – The Everglades is set to receive an increment of $1.1 billion, the most money the federal government has committed in a single fiscal year.

The news of the funding actually came as a surprise to supporters.

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“I was shocked,” said Jerry Lorenz, Audubon Florida State Dir. said.

Lorenz has been working on studying and promoting nature conservation for over 30 years.

And for decades, researchers like him have been identifying problem areas where fish have died and seagrass will no longer grow. More recently, this has become a problem for manatees as they starve to death from lack of food.

“What we’ve seen in the past is that we’ve had degraded water quality and really choked water flow,” Kelly Cox, Everglades Policy Dir. explains.

Cox hopes that money will be used to better direct water flow across the Everglades.

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“Functionally it looks like reservoirs, it looks like pumps, pipes, flowlines, channels.”

The water flow problems have not only harmed wildlife habitat but also the local economy.

“When Florida Bay died, nobody came to the Keys in the early ’90s because it was a sickly place,” Lorenz said.

Now this funding gives hope.

“I’m very optimistic that we really need that,” added Lorenz.

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The $1.1 billion was provided from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Employment Act.

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