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Campaign Press Release - "The Everglades President"?

September 08, 2020

President Trump is committed to protecting the Everglades and Florida's natural treasures, providing needed funding and federal help

Key Takeaways:

  • Today, President Trump is headed to Jupiter, Florida to highlight his Administration's conservation and environmental protection efforts in the state
  • President Trump has prioritized funding for Everglades restoration and protection
  • President Trump and his Administration is committed to fighting harmful algae blooms, like the "red tide"
    • In January 2019, President Trump signed a bill to fund research, monitoring, and mitigation of toxic algae
    • This bill provided $100 million to combat red tide and other harmful algal blooms
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  • Numerous Florida officials have repeatedly recognized President Trump's commitment to the Everglades
    • Gov. Ron DeSantis: "President Trump understands that restoring Florida's Everglades is critical to the economic growth and well-being of our state"
    • Sen. Marco Rubio said Trump would go down in history as the "Everglades President"
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    • Sen. Rick Scott: "I applaud the Administration's commitment to protecting Florida's natural treasures"
    • Rep. Mario Diaz Balart: President Trump has "done more for the environment, for Lake Okeechobee — in essence, for Everglades restoration — [in] two years than we have seen in decades."
    • Rep. Francis Rooney: "We're doing as much in three years, because of [President Trump], than we've done in the preceding 13 years.

FUNDING TO RESTORE THE EVERGLADES AND PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

In His Budget This Year, President Trump Requested $250 Million Annually To Expedite And Construct New Everglades Infrastructure. "As part of South Florida's Ecosystem Restoration, Trump's 2021 budget proposes $250 million in annual funding to expedite and construct new Everglades infrastructure. These restoration projects include revitalizing the Everglades, enhancing regional water storage capacity, reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and addressing the problems of blue-green algae and red tide." (Kaitlyn Burman, "President Trump To Be In Jupiter Tuesday," ABC West Palm Beach, 9/5/20)

In December, President Trump Signed A Federal Funding Bill Providing $200 Million For Everglades Restoration. "Nearly nine months ago President Donald Trump told TCPalm more money for Everglades restoration, including a reservoir project to help stop harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges, would be coming 'soon.' The president signed the $1.4 trillion federal budget appropriating that money late Friday night. Back on March 31, beside Lake O in western Palm Beach County, Trump said the money would be 'a lot more than you would ever believe.' It is, in fact, the $200 million the Army Corps of Engineers needs in the current fiscal year, and for the next several years, to get the 10,100-acre reservoir built in eight years." (Tyler Treadway, "Trump Signs Budget With $200 Million For Everglades Projects, Reservoir To Cut Discharges," TCPalm 12/21/19)

  • The Reservoir Project, In Combination With Other Existing And Planned Projects, Is Expected To Reduce The Number Of Damaging Discharges By 63 Percent. "The project in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee is expected, when used in conjunction with other existing and planned projects, to reduce the number of damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers by 63 percent." (Tyler Treadway, "Trump Signs Budget With $200 Million For Everglades Projects, Reservoir To Cut Discharges," TCPalm 12/21/19)

In May 2019, President Trump Tweeted That He Would "Be Fighting" For Funding For Everglades Restoration, And Called On Congress To "Help Us Complete The World's Largest Intergovernmental Watershed Restoration Project ASAP." "My Administration will be fighting for $200 million for the Army Corps Everglades restoration work this year. Congress needs to help us complete the world's largest intergovernmental watershed restoration project ASAP! Good for Florida and good for the environment." (Donald J. Trump, Twitter, 5/13/19)


$500 Million For The Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation

"The Trump Administration Has Prioritized Funding For Environmental Restoration Projects In The Florida Everglades, Including More Than $500 Million To Accelerate Completion Of Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation At Lake Okeechobee." (Fact Sheet, "President Donald J. Trump Is Promoting A Clean And Healthy Environment For All Americans," The White House, 7/8/19)

  • In July 2018, The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Pledged $500 Million To Fix Lake Okeechobee's Aging Dike By 2022. "The federal government is cutting a half-billion-dollar check to finally finish shoring up the failing dike around Lake Okeechobee. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to spend more than $500 million — part of $17.4 billion Congress set aside earlier this year for hurricane-ravaged states — to complete ongoing repairs to the aging, leak-prone levee by 2022, said spokesman John Campbell." (Jenny Staletovich, "$500 Million Pledged To Fix Lake O's Aging Dike. The Algae Crisis Is Another Matter," Miami Herald, 7/6/18)

Funding The Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project

Last Week, The Trump Administration Announced The Awarding Of A Contract To Advance The Final Phase Of The Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project, A Critical Project For Everglades Restoration. "The Trump Administration announced Wednesday the awarding of a contract to allow for the second and final phase of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project to begin. Officials said that the Florida Department of Transportation awarded the contract to General Asphalt Jones Benitez Joint Venture. Here is what officials said about the project: 'The $200 million Tamiami Trail Next Steps Project represents a new approach to collaboration between federal and state agencies by merging funding and expertise to achieve important regional transportation, sustainability, and Everglades restoration goals all in one project' 'Phase 2 of the project will focus on raising and reconstructing the remaining 6.7 miles of the eastern Tamiami Trail with features to further improve water conveyance, roadway safety, and stormwater treatment. Construction on Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in November 2020.' 'The granting of this award is an exciting milestone in the completion of such a critical project for Everglades restoration,' said Margaret Everson, Counselor to the Secretary, exercising the delegated authority of the National Park Service Director. "'his step is a wonderful example of how collaboration and coordination with our partners sets the stage for long-term restoration efforts.'" ("Trump Administration, Florida Advance Final Phase Of Everglades Restoration Project," CBS Miami, 9/2/20)

  • Elevating The Trail Will Allow An Additional 75 To 80 Billion Gallons Of Water A Year To Flow South Into The Everglades And Florida Bay. "'I have worked diligently with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the National Park Service (NPS) to accelerate this critical infrastructure project,' said Governor Ron DeSantis. 'The Tamiami Trail project is a key component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Elevating the trail will allow for an additional 75 to 80 billion gallons of water a year to flow south into the Everglades and Florida Bay.'" ("Gov. DeSantis Announces Upcoming Contract Phase 2 Of Everglades Restoration," CBS Miami, 4/22/20)

Building A Reservoir South Of Lake Okeechobee

In October 2018, President Trump Signed A Bill To Improve The Nation's Water Infrastructure, Including A Florida Project To Reduce Toxic Algae Blooms. "President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a wide-ranging bill to improve the nation's water infrastructure, including a Florida project intended to reduce toxic algae blooms that have devastated coastal marine life and emptied beaches." (Matthew Daly, "Trump Signs Water Projects Bill; 1 Aimed At Fla. Toxic Algae," Associated Press, 10/23/18)

  • The America's Water Infrastructure Act Of 2018 Authorized The Creation Of A Reservoir South Of Lake Okeechobee "To Filter Out Toxins That Contribute To The Harmful Algae Blooms That Have Killed Turtles, Fish, And Other Marine Life." "The new law will help create a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee designed to filter out toxins that contribute to harmful algae blooms that have killed turtles, fish and other marine life — even manatees — and have ravaged South Florida's tourism-driven economy." (Matthew Daly, "Trump Signs Water Projects Bill; 1 Aimed At Fla. Toxic Algae," Associated Press, 10/23/18)}
  • Then-Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Hailed The Water Bill, Calling It "Critical For Our Broader Everglades Restoration Effort." "Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who is locked in a close re-election fight with Republican Gov. Rick Scott, hailed the water bill. Nelson praised Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for working with him to advance the Everglades project. 'This reservoir is particularly important right now to help mitigate the toxic algae crisis that's sweeping the state, but it's also critical for our broader Everglades restoration effort,' Nelson said." (Matthew Daly, "Trump Signs Water Projects Bill; 1 Aimed At Fla. Toxic Algae," Associated Press, 10/23/18)

RESEARCHING & FIGHTING TOXIC ALGAE BLOOMS

The Trump Administration Is Working Closely With The State Of Florida, Taking Seriously The Environmental Harms Caused By Algae Blooms. "'The Trump administration takes the environmental harms caused by algae blooms to the Everglades very seriously, which is why we're working closely with Florida and other states that are consistently impacted by these blooms,' Chase Jennings, press secretary for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement. 'President Trump is committed to the strict standards and funding surrounding algae blooms in order to provide clean, untainted water to all Americans.'" (David Smiley, "Trump's 2021 Budget Proposes $250 Million For Everglades Restoration Projects," Miami Herald, 2/6/20)

In January 2019, President Trump Signed A Bill To Fund Research, Monitoring, And Mitigation Of Harmful Algal Blooms, Like The Red Tide In Florida. "A bill that expands federal funding opportunities for communities affected by harmful algal blooms is now law. President Donald Trump signed the measure Monday, which the House passed Dec. 20 and the Senate passed Dec. 18. The bill authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to declare a 'Harmful Algal Bloom of Significance' when a bloom will have a detrimental impact on a state's environment, economy, subsistence use or public health. The declaration authorizes the federal government to make federal funding available to state or local governments to assess and mitigate harmful algal blooms." (Ali Schmitz, "President Trump Signs Algal Bloom Bill To Fund Research, Monitoring, Mitigation," TCPalm, 1/10/19)

  • This Bill Reauthorized The Harmful Algal Bloom And Hypoxia Research And Control Act For Another Five Years. "This bill amends the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 to reauthorize for FY2019-FY2023 the national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program and the action strategy of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia." (S. 2200, Signed Into Law, 1/7/19)
  • This Bill Provides $100 Million To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms Such As Red Tide. "The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017 was included in the legislation passed Thursday by Congress, providing more than $100 million to combat HABs like red tide." ("Congress Passes Bill To Provide $100 Million For Harmful Algal Blooms, Red Tide Fight," Sunshine State News, 12/20/18)

FLORIDA OFFICIALS HAVE PRAISED PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO THE EVERGLADES

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Praised President Trump, Saying He "Understands That Restoring Florida's Everglades Is Critical To The Economic Growth And Well-Being Of Our State." "'President Trump understands that restoring Florida's Everglades is critical to the economic growth and well-being of our state,' said Governor DeSantis. 'This $250 million in federal funding, combined with more than $300 million of state funding for the Everglades in my recommended budget, will help us achieve our long-term environmental goals. The ball is now in Congress's court to grant the President's request so we can continue our efforts of restoring one of America's most prized natural resources.'" (Press Release, "Governor Ron DeSantis Commends President Donald Trump For Historic Everglades Restoration Funding Request," Governor Ron DeSantis, 2/10/20)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Credited President Trump For His Commitment To The Everglades, Saying He Would Go Down In History As "The Everglades President." SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): "Well, we just want to thank you. This is a — the most important issue in Florida is water right now. And it's actually the algae blooms and all that that are destroying property values and economically threaten communities, where people come to have access to the water, and they can't go in the water for three or four months a year because of the algae blooms. This actually is related to that. And your administration deserves credit. You helped pull forward money — used disaster relief money to finish this, which meant that now that money gets freed up for the rest of the Everglades. And you have a chance, Mr. President, and your administration, to go down in history as the Everglades President — as the person who helped save and restore the Everglades. And we're going to be very proud to be a part of that." ("Remarks By President Trump During A Visit To Lake Okeechobee And Herbert Hoover Dike," The White House, 3/29/19)


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Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) Applauded The Trump Administration's Commitment To Protecting Florida's Natural Treasures Through Its Funding Of Everglades Restoration Projects. SENATOR RICK SCOTT (R-FL): "I applaud President Trump for working with the Florida delegation to commit to fight for $250 million in federal funding for Everglades restoration projects this year. This funding builds on the $200 million in construction funding for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration we fought for and secured last year, as well as the $2 billion in state funding invested in restoring the Everglades throughout my time as Governor. Everglades restoration is critically important to the State of Florida and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. I applaud the Administration's commitment to protecting Florida's natural treasures for generations to come." (Press Release, "Sen. Rick Scott Applauds President Trump's Commitment To Protecting Everglades," Senator Rick Scott, 2/10/20)

Representative Francis Rooney (R-FL) Said That President Trump Is "Going To Save The Everglades." REPRESENATIVE FRANCIS ROONEY (R-FL): "Mr. President, I just want to thank you for this and for a lot of other things you've done to show when a businessperson gets involved in government, good things can happen. And you are going to save the Everglades. We're doing as much in three years, because of you, than we've done in the preceding 13 years. So thank you, Mr. President." ("Remarks By President Trump During A Visit To Lake Okeechobee And Herbert Hoover Dike," The White House, 3/29/19)


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Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) Said President Trump Did More In Two Years For Everglades Restoration Than Florida Has Seen In Decades. REPRESENTATIVE MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R-FL): "Mr. President, just to reiterate that you have the mayor of Clewiston here. You have state officials. You have federal officials. But it doesn't happen without your leadership. It doesn't happen without you stepping forward, saying that this is important; putting, in essence, your effort, your leadership. And all of us are here working together, but in particular to thank you because it would not have happened. And what Francis says is right: You have done more for the environment, for Lake Okeechobee — in essence, for Everglades restoration — in your two years than we have seen in decades. So thank you, Mr. President." ("Remarks By President Trump During A Visit To Lake Okeechobee And Herbert Hoover Dike," The White House, 3/29/19)


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Donald J. Trump, Campaign Press Release - "The Everglades President"? Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345551

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