WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Brian Mast (FL-18) today celebrated Governor Ron DeSantis’ signing of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir’s Project Partnership Agreement. This important agreement between the State of Florida and the federal government is a major step toward the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning construction on the reservoir component of the EAA Reservoir Project.
“I made a promise on the Floor of the United States House of Representatives shortly after I was sworn into Congress that fixing our water quality would be my top priority, and passing legislation to authorize the EAA reservoir was a critical step toward doing that. The construction of the EAA reservoir is the single most important Everglades restoration project that will help end toxic discharges permanently,” Rep. Mast said. “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the state began construction on their portion of the project a year ahead of schedule, but the federal government has bogged the project down with unnecessary bureaucracy. The signing of this agreement will hopefully bring an end to this obstruction and should be heralded as a major accomplishment towards cleaning up Florida's waterways.”
The EAA Reservoir was authorized by Congress as a result of legislation written by Rep. Mast in 2018 and included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. Since then, the Army Corps has engaged in bureaucratic delays that have jeopardized timely completion of this critical project to move more water south and stop toxic discharges to Florida’s coastal communities. In response, Rep. Mast wrote legislation—included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020—to overcome the Army Corps’ bureaucracy by clarifying that the project was not subject to the Army Corps’ “new start” requirement. Rep. Mast has also prioritized funding for the EAA reservoir and led efforts that have resulted in historic levels of funding for Everglades restoration. Throughout all of this, Rep. Mast has championed efforts to get this project built as soon as possible, and today’s announcement is a major step toward that goal.