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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 9, 2002

Another Step Forward for Everglades Restoration

Today's Presidential Action

  •     Today, President Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush took action to help the effort to restore the Everglades.  The President and the Governor signed an agreement that ensures adequate water supplies are available to support the 30-year Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

  •     Today's announcement reflects the Bush Administration's strong support for the 30-year, $7.8 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).  The CERP is the most comprehensive and ambitious ecosystem restoration project ever undertaken in the United States.  It includes more than 68 projects, and the costs of the restoration and future operating expenses will be shared 50-50 by the Federal government and non-Federal interests, including the State of Florida.

    Background:  The Bush Administration's Commitment to Restoring the Everglades

  •     Over the long-term, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan will restore approximately 2.4 million acres of the Everglades ecosystem.  The CERP will also help to ensure that South Florida has a reliable supply of fresh water for years to come.  When fully implemented, it will provide the region with an additional 1.7 billion gallons of fresh water per day--ensuring an expanded water supply to meet the growing needs of South Florida communities and farms. The CERP enjoys broad, bipartisan support from Congress, the State of Florida, tribal organizations, environmental groups, local communities, the agricultural community and other key stakeholders.

  •     Today's agreement between the federal government and the State of Florida ensures that adequate water supplies will be available from projects in the CERP for the benefit of state and federally-owned natural resources in the south Florida ecosystem, including Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress National Preserve.  The State of Florida will reserve water under State law for the benefit of these natural resources based on the needs of each project.

  •     This agreement solidifies the unique 50/50 partnership between the federal government and the State of Florida to restore the Everglades and the south Florida ecosystem, and it reinforces the important roles of the Department of the Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Florida in the restoration effort.

  •     President Bush's FY02 budget provided more than $219 million for restoring the Everglades -- an increase of more than $58 million over FY01 funding levels.  These funds include $15 million for the Department of the Interior to continue to help the State of Florida acquire lands needed for projects included in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.  To date, the federal government has helped acquire over 110,000 acres needed for these projects.

  •     The Department of the Interior will spend additional funds to help recover the endangered key deer in the Florida Keys so they can eventually be de-listed under the Endangered Species Act.   The Department also increased funding available for the eradication of exotic plants and other species that threaten restoration of the ecosystem.

  •     Governor Jeb Bush recently announced how the State of Florida will fund its share of the cost of the CERP for next year.  President Bush will outline the Administration's plan for funding the federal share for FY03 in his budget announcement in February.

    For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit

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