Diaz-Balart Secures Funding to Continue Everglades Restoration, Fight Wildfires in Interior Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after the Committee approved the fiscal year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill.
“Continued restoration of the Everglades is critical to our ecosystem and local economy. As Floridians, we are fortunate to have access to beautiful parks like Everglades National Park, but we must do everything we can to preserve it for future generations. This bill supports the continued restoration process, as well as funding for Everglades ecosystem studies through the U.S. Geological Survey. The bill also includes funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which is vital to localities like Collier County, who rely on those funds to provide emergency and social services. Southern Florida has experienced an outbreak of wildfires, and I am glad this bill also provides for wildland firefighting and prevention.
“I commend Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Simpson for their leadership on this bill. I look forward to supporting the legislation on the House floor so that we may continue to protect the Everglades, its ecosystem, and Floridians’ access to clean drinking water.”
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Diaz-Balart worked with his colleagues to secure the following funding in the fiscal year Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill:
- $63.834 million for continued restoration of the Everglades
- $10 million for planning and interagency coordination in support Everglades restoration
- $157 million for ecosystem programs under the U.S. Geological Survey, including those in the Everglades
- $500 million for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, which Collier County is the largest recipient in Florida of
- $75 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program
- $3.9 billion for wildland firefighting and prevention
- $3.25 billion for the National Park Service
- $3.5 billion for the State and Tribal Assistance Grants account
- $1.6 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- $360 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
- $11 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Fund
- Language supporting the inclusion of Latino contributions in Smithsonian Institute programs, exhibitions, collections, and public outreach
Click here to view a summary of the bill.