|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 10, 2013|
|Contact:||Alison Zemanski Heis, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association; Phone: 202.454.3332; Cell: 202.384.8762 John Adornato, Sun Coast Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association; Phone: 954.961.1280; Cell: 954.309.9307|
President’s Budget Shows Strong Support for Advancing Next Phase of Bridging for Tamiami Trail
Statement by John Adornato, Sun Coast Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association
“We are thrilled by the Obama Administration’s recognition of the importance for advancing America’s Everglades with today’s release of the FY2014 Presidential Budget that proposes $95.5 million for the Department of the Interior, including $30 million for Tamiami Trail Next Steps bridging.
“Historically, Tamiami Trail has obstructed freshwater flow into the Everglades since its construction in 1928, acting like a dam and blocking critical water flows back to its natural path, south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. Today’s proposed funding levels will help bridge Tamiami Trail an additional 5.5 miles, which is vital to protecting critical habitat, restoring historic water flows into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, and ensuring America’s Everglades will be preserved for future generations.
“America’s Everglades is one of the world’s most diverse and productive wetlands and is a tremendous economic generator. According to the National Park Service, Tamiami Trail Next Steps bridging will bring an estimated 3,700 jobs to the state, many of which are in the hard-hit construction sector. So far, these direct economic benefits are in addition to those from constructing the first one-mile bridge, which was completed last month, creating more than 1,200 jobs in two years. For every dollar invested in Everglades restoration, $4 is generated in economic benefits to the public.
“We celebrate the President’s commitment to advancing the construction of an additional 5.5 miles of bridging on Tamiami Trail and urge Congress to support strong funding for Tamiami Trail Next Steps bridging.”