STUART, Fla - U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-21) joined Senator Marco Rubio and Florida colleagues in a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden requesting $725 million in funding for continued South Florida Ecosystem Restoration efforts to be included in his forthcoming Fiscal Year 2025 budget.

The Everglades is one-of-a-kind, home to more species of plants and animals than any other ecosystem in the continental United States.  In addition to its environmental value, the Everglades has a significant economic value, reaping major economic benefits for Floridians. 

“I’ve fought every year to secure full funding for Everglades restoration and pushed to prioritize projects like the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir to send water south,” Rep. Mast said. “This is a fight that I’m in 365 days per year, and I’ll stay in it to make sure our kids and grandkids can enjoy all that the Everglades has to offer.”  

This funding will help combat Florida’s ongoing public health crisis caused by the federal government discharging toxic water from Lake Okeechobee nearly every summer. Restoring the Everglades will allow more water to be sent south and keep toxic discharges out of estuaries on the east and west coasts.

“The completion of Everglades restoration projects will enable additional water management flexibility for beneficial management and use, lessen the volume and frequency of harmful and wasteful discharges to the estuaries that can kill wildlife and negatively impact quality of life, and prevent water shortages and restrictions across southern Florida,” Senator Marco Rubio said. 

Also joining Sen. Rubio were U.S. Representatives Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Laurel Lee (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Mike Waltz (R-FL), and Jared Moskowitz (D-FL).

The full text of the letter can be found here.