It's good to have friends in high places — particularly when big federal bucks are involved. Latest evidence: Terrence "Rock" Salt, veteran of Everglades restoration efforts, appointed to a key White House job earlier this year.
Salt spent 18 years overseeing Everglades restoration efforts. As a principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army, he now oversees the Corps.
For the Glades, a pinch of Salt seems to have made a big difference: Federal money trickled out of Washington during the Bush administration. The Obama administration has pledged record amounts so far — nearly a half-billion over two years. For years, the South Florida Water Management District and Corps have argued over how to split the increasingly expensive restoration tab. About seven months after Salt's appointment, the dispute has finally been resolved, with the feds accepting a change that will shift as much as a half-billion dollars in costs to the Corps.