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Trump budget rapped over Everglades money

Posted: 9:25 AM, Mar 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 09:28:36-04
Scientists: Everglades "critically endangered"

Environmentalists and some high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump are criticizing his proposed budget for not including enough money for Everglades restoration.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., issued a news release Wednesday saying the White House budget request “failed to include sufficient funding for Everglades restoration” efforts. “For the third year in a row, the administration’s budget request underfunds critical projects in South Florida,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “It is incredibly short-sighted to continue to underfund a series of projects that are absolutely necessary to ensure the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of one of the most dynamic regions of our nation.”

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In February, Rubio and Scott joined Gov. Ron DeSantis in urging Trump to provide $200 million a year for Everglades restoration.

Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg said Wednesday the “federal government must fulfill its role,” noting Trump’s request seeks nearly $63.3 million for Everglades work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Florida cannot continue to suffer through repeated outbreaks of toxic blue-green algae and red tide: The nation’s third-most populous state is undergoing a perennial environmental disaster and an economic catastrophe, and the federal government must fulfill its role in helping solve the problem of Florida’s waterways,” Eikenberg said in a statement.

On Monday, after Trump released his proposed budget, Audubon Florida urged Congress to meet the $200 million request. “With a number of projects nearing completion within the next five years, sustained and increased funding from Congress can finally deliver the results so desperately needed by the people of Florida and our cherished birds and wildlife,” Audubon Florida said in a statement.