A bipartisan water infrastructure bill passed the Senate 99-1 this week, sending the legislation to President Trump for his signature.
In addition to authorizing more than $6 billion in federal spending on ports, harbors and waterways, the bill will also deauthorize spending on projects deemed inefficient, according to The Hill.
The bill, known as America’s Water Infrastructure Act (S. 3021), incorporates the Water Resources Development Act. WRDA authorizes Everglades reservoir restoration and requires an expedited review of how Lake Okeechobee levels are managed under its regulation schedule.
The legislation also supports the restoration of the Kissimmee River and requires the development of a harmful algal bloom program.
These components will help address South Florida’s water quality issues, according to Keep Florida Fishing, an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association.
“Thank you to everyone who has contacted their representatives to support WRDA,” said ASA Southeast fisheries policy director Kellie Ralston in a statement. “This legislation is crucial to reducing the ongoing estuary discharges and algal blooms affecting the state.”
Passing WRDA is a “monumental step” in restoring the Everglades and providing clean water for fisheries, Ralston said.
“This is a tremendous win for Florida’s waters and anglers,” said Keep Florida Fishing director Gary Jennings. “WRDA includes several provisions that will address the state’s current water quality issues. This bipartisan compromise will dramatically advance Keep Florida Fishing’s mission to ensure anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both.”