Key Senate Panel Approves Everglades Project

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A key U.S. Senate committee approved legislation Thursday, April 28, 2016, authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward on a major Everglades restoration project that’s been mired in bureaucratic red tape.

At the urging of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee included the nearly $2 billion Central Everglades Planning Project, or CEPP, in a broader water resources bill the committee approved today.

“Getting this project approved is a major step in our ongoing efforts to restore the Everglades,” Nelson said. “It will help us not only restore an area that is the crown jewel of Florida’s landscape, but is also a source of clean drinking water for millions in the state.”

CEPP is a $1.9 billion series of engineering projects designed to improve the health of the entire ecosystem by allowing more water to flow south to the Everglades, and reducing the need for more harmful discharges to the east and west through the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.

The project was included as part of a broader water bill the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee approved today. That bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.