Urge Congress to Seize the Moment for Everglades Restoration

mullins snook.jpg2018 is a critical year for the future of America’s Everglades. Restoring this diverse ecosystem is tricky to say the least and requires sustained forward progress on numerous projects. One such project is the new Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir and is a major component of the Central Everglades Project. The reservoir plan was recently submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and once approved will require authorization from Congress. This must happen in 2018 if we expect real progress to be made and avoid a costly two-year delay before construction begins.

The Everglades are an essential ecosystem that is the heart of hunting and fishing traditions in Florida from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. The time is now to ask Congress to take action – and we need sportsmen and women to speak up! This month, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will begin drafting the 2018 Water Resources Development Act. This legislation is where the future of the EAA Reservoir and Everglades progress for the next two years will be determined.

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Everglades restoration priorities for 2018 WRDA Bill

Dear Member of Congress,

As a sportsmen who is interested in the future of hunting and fishing opportunities for all Americans, I urge you to authorize the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir in the upcoming 2018 Water Resources Development Act. The EAA Reservoir plan was recently submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their review in a Post-Authorization Change Report (PACR) on March 26, 2018. In anticipation of approval by the Corps, it is important that this critical project be included in this year's WRDA bill for authorization to avoid unnecessary delay in its funding and implementation.

Once completed, the reservoir is expected to reduce damaging, algae-causing discharges that inundate the communities along the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries by approximately 60 percent. It will also help send an additional 370,000 acre-feet of clean, freshwater south towards the Everglades and Florida Bay each year. This project is essential to the ongoing restoration of America's Everglades and improving the health of the entire south Florida ecosystem and the communities that rely on it.

America's Everglades is an iconic landscape for the nation with countless environmental and cultural benefits. From a sportsman's perspective, America's Everglades provide unique hunting and fishing opportunities. With these activities comes serious economic benefits as well. Recreational fishing in the Everglades region alone supports nearly $2.9 billion in total economic activity and more than 26,000 jobs. Restoring America's Everglades is a necessary commitment and investment and it is critical to forward progress on this major component to restoration in the Central Everglades Project. Authorization of the EAA Reservoir in the 2018 WRDA legislation will avoid an unnecessary and costly two-year delay.

Thank you for your continued support for restoring America's Everglades and I ask you to do all you can to authorize the EAA Reservoir in the upcoming 2018 Water Resources Development Act.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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