NMMA pushes for Everglades restoration

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Toxic algae blooms are forming along coastal Florida.

Toxic algae blooms are forming along coastal Florida.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association launched a Boating United campaign, calling on industry stakeholders to tell lawmakers to authorize Everglades Reservoir restoration provisions in the Water Resources Development Act of 2018.

Toxic blue-green algae is forming along coastal Florida, and restoring the Everglades would help increase the southerly flow of water from central Florida to Florida Bay, according to the NMMA.

The restoration project is intended to restore the flow of water from the north part of the state to Florida Bay through the Everglades, reduce the amount of water impounded in Lake Okeechobee and filter out bloom-causing nutrients.

This fix has been idling along for nearly two decades — mostly for lack of money and political will to make it a priority — at the state and federal levels.

In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act, with favorable Everglades provisions and additional industry objectives.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the coming weeks.

The Office of Management and Budget approved the restoration project last week, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can finalize its report, which will clear the way for the Senate to include it in the upcoming water infrastructure bill.

The association is urging industry stakeholders to reach out to members of Congress.