Congressman Francis Rooney in SWFL to discuss future Everglades restoration projects

Posted at 10:54 PM, Mar 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 07:43:13-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- On Saturday, Congressman Francis Rooney hosted Congressman Kevin Calvert, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment, on a tour of Everglades National Park.

In a letter to President Trump,  Congressman Rooney recently asked for support in Everglades restoration projects for the 2018 fiscal year budget. 

"Well there's billions at stake over the long run," said Congressman Rooney. 

Billions may be at stake but Florida Congressman Francis Rooney said it's hard to put a price on preserving national parks like the Everglades.

"But if we can just get the appropriations doubled or tripled from what they've been we'd be doing really well and we'd be keeping up with what the state puts in," said Rooney.

Congressman Rooney said Florida is extremely unique when it comes to its watershed. 

"It has the Caloosahatchee, it has the Indian river, it has the Kissimmee flowing into it from the north. We have the Everglades and the Big Cypress which do not drain into the same basins, so we need different things for different parts of the watershed," said Rooney.

While there's several projects currently in the works one of the biggest feats will be getting the funding necessary to continue restoration projects in Florida.

"You see it on a map and you don't realize how big it is, how big the everglades are and it's a quite an undertaking as I said earlier so we have a lot of work ahead of us," said California Congressman Ken Calvert.

Despite President Trump proposing cuts to the EPA, both Congressman Calvert and Congressman Rooney believe projects like the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee won't be affected.

"As Congressman Calvert said it's the ultimate infrastructure project and infrastructure is important to the president, so we will have to see what the details of the budget are when we get them," said Congressman Rooney.