After Diaz-Balart Worked with Colleagues to Authorize EAA Reservoir, Legislation Becomes Law
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Founder and Co-Chair of the House Everglades Caucus, issued the following statement after President Trump signed America’s Water and Infrastructure Act of 2018.
“The reauthorization of WRDA is a huge step forward for Florida’s ecosystem and water infrastructure. This bill clears the way for addressing the harmful algal blooms that have seriously impacted our state’s waterways and economy. Florida’s businesses, its tourism industry, and its ecosystem continue to suffer because of this toxic substance. I have met with individuals affected by this and seen the impacts to our community firsthand. While this bill authorizes the EAA Storage Reservoir, which will allow for more water to be stored south of Lake Okeechobee, it also authorizes a 5-year harmful algal bloom technology development demonstration. The goal of this program is to identify improved strategies to reduce the occurrence and effects of these harmful algal blooms. Along with funding I have helped secure through Appropriations, this provision will go a long way towards addressing this critical issue.
“As I mentioned, this legislation also makes way for the EAA Reservoir, a major priority for me and the state, and a major component of the greater Everglades restoration efforts underway in Florida. It also ensures that progress towards the expedited completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike seamlessly coincides with Lake Okeechobee’s water regulation schedule. I worked tirelessly with my Florida delegation colleagues and leadership to champion the EAA Reservoir in the House, which protects the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee and the Sunshine State’s coastlines, and I applaud its enactment.
“I thank President Trump for his support on this legislation, and I look forward to continue working with him to preserve Florida’s natural treasures and build a more modernized and upgraded infrastructure system.”
In addition to working with his colleagues to authorize the EAA Storage Reservoir, Diaz-Balart worked with his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to secure critical funding for Southern Florida’s ecosystem in the recently passed appropriations minibus, such as $67.5 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (which includes projects from the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP)) and $96 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike. These Dike funds, combined with the $514 million Diaz-Balart helped secure this July from the hurricane relief and recovery funding package, are anticipated to complete this much-needed Dike rehabilitation project by 2022-2023.