Water Resources Reform and Development Act: Everglades projects included in federal water bill

MIAMI (AP) — A joint congressional committee has signed off on a long-anticipated federal water resources bill that includes some Everglades restoration projects.

Congress is likely to pass the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act next week.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., says the bill authorizes over $1 billion for four Everglades projects that would direct freshwater into Biscayne Bay and the southeastern Everglades. They also would store polluted water from Lake Okeechobee to keep it from flowing into the Caloosahatchee River.

However, the bill published Tuesday does not include the Central Everglades Planning Project. That plan would redirect more water south of Lake Okeechobee into the central Everglades and south into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. It's still being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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