Statement by Dawn Shirreffs, Everglades Restoration Program Manager
“Today’s ribbon cutting is monumental for Everglades restoration. We applaud the Obama Administration and the National Park Service’s leadership and continued support for restoring America’s Everglades with completing the long awaited one-mile bridge on Tamiami Trail, more than 20 years in the making.
“America’s Everglades is one of the world’s most diverse and productive wetlands and is a tremendous economic generator for the state. Over the last four years, Everglades restoration projects have generated 10,500 jobs in Florida with more than 442,000 jobs expected to be created over the next several decades in tourism, real estate and commercial and recreational fishing. Everglades National Park alone generates more than $146 million in visitor spending each year and for every dollar invested in Everglades restoration, $4 is generated in economic benefits to the public.
“Historically, Tamiami Trail has obstructed freshwater flow into the Everglades since its construction in 1928. Until today, this roadway has acted like a dam, and served as a major barrier, blocking critical water flows back to its natural path, south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.
“We celebrate today’s completion of the one-mile bridge and urge Congress and the Administration to continue this momentum by building an additional 5.5 miles of bridging. Elevating Tamiami Trail is vital to protect critical habitat, restore historic water flows into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, and ensure America’s Everglades will be preserved for future generations.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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