From Washington, signals of hope for Everglades restoration

After years of tepid support, Washington appears primed to jump-start stalled Everglades restoration.

The House on Wednesday approved a giant budget bill with $183 million for Everglades projects, including $60 million for bridging the Tamiami Trail. Also tucked into the measure is a tiny provision crafted to circumvent a Miccosukee lawsuit blocking the Trail improvements.

In addition, the Obama administration has named Terrence ''Rock'' Salt, who has spent 18 years overseeing federal Everglades restoration efforts, to a key White House post directing civil works projects.

''It's a good day for the Everglades,'' said Kirk Fordham, chief executive officer of The Everglades Foundation. "Finally, the federal government is stepping up to the plate.''

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