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Rooney presses Congress for Everglades funding

Posted at 10:34 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 22:35:00-04

Congressman Francis Rooney says Congress is likely to pass a big spending bill to help with Everglades restoration.

The plan includes 300 million dollars that would build reservoirs along the Caloosahatchee River.  They would hold excess water released from Lake Okeechobee, which is blamed for fouling Southwest Florida beaches in 2016.

"Our whole livelihood and reason for being in Southwest Florida depends on healthy water," said Rooney, who represents Lee and Collier Counties.

Fellow lawmakers Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents parts of Collier County and Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, joined Rooney for a tour of the Conservancy.  Simpson chairs the committee that approved some of the funding.

Other projects funded include raising Tamiami Trail, so water can flow freely from Lake Okeechobee south to Florida Bay.

The funding package still needs approval from the Senate and President Trump before work can begin.