Boating and fishing advocates rally Congressional support for Everglades restoration

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With federal appropriations season fully underway, nearly a dozen boating and fishing organizations wrote to lawmakers encouraging them to continue support for restoration of America’s Everglades.

Last month, President Trump proposed cutting spending by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by 31 percent, and initially failed to include money for an Everglades reservoir aimed at reducing polluted water flushed from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries, according to the Miami Herald.

He later told Florida residents that the money was “coming soon,” according to Orlando Weekly.

Everglades restoration is a top advocacy priority for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which spearheaded drafting the letter, according to the NMMA newsletter, Currents.

The red tide all but shut down boating and fishing along Florida’s southwest coast last year, and killed massive amounts of wildlife, Soundings Trade Only reported at the time.

Boating and angling stakeholders requested the Subcommittee on Energy and Water to fund the South Florida Ecosystems Restoration at $200 million for construction and $10 million for operations and maintenance in fiscal year 2020, the NMMA said.

This funding level is essential to reducing toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee into Florida’s waterways and to protect the livelihood of anglers, guides, boat captains, and retailers that rely upon Florida’s fisheries and coastal waterways.