Nothing talks quite like money. This helps explain the optimism at the annual Everglades Coalition's 29th annual conference this past weekend in Palm Beach Gardens. The mood was generally upbeat thanks to the Obama administration's $600 million infusion into the lagging Everglades cleanup plan.
The word "momentum" got a good workout at the conference, too, because the federal government finally stepped up to the plate as a full partner, along with the state, in funding of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The recession must not stop that momentum.
The $600 million triggered ground-breaking on two long delayed projects with a third about to be launched. The first is elevation of a one-mile stretch of the Tamiami Trail, which has greatly limited sheet flow to parched Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The administration hopes to add up to five more miles of bridges to the road to increase water flowing southward and to speed up removal of canals and levees north of the Trail that also trap water.
The second project is reclaiming a failed subdivision in the Picayune Strand in Southwest Florida. Looming is a third -- crucial repairs to the C-111 Canal in South Miami-Dade, which has long diverted water from the park.
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