Statement by Caroline McLaughlin, Biscayne Restoration Program Analyst
“Yesterday’s decision by the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Review Board to postpone their review of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was hugely disappointing. This is a major step back in restoring America’s Everglades, particularly considering the commitment of the Obama Administration and Florida Governor Scott and the time and resources invested by the federal agencies, the South Florida Water Management District, and many interested stakeholders.
“Ironically, the Army Corps of Engineers originally launched CEPP as a pilot project to expedite planning and minimize delays while advancing Everglades restoration. Since its November 2011 launch, CEPP’s expedited process has received accolades from stakeholders throughout Florida and the nation. President Obama included the project on his ‘We Can’t Wait’ initiative recognizing threats to the Everglades and the potential for this project to serve as a model for restoration efforts across the country.
“This project cannot wait. CEPP is vital to restoring America’s Everglades by reconnecting historic water flows to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, restoring wildlife habitat, reducing excessive damaging water discharges to the Atlantic and Gulf Coast estuaries, and ultimately protecting the environment, economy, and drinking water supply for millions of Americans. The Army Corps must finalize their review process for CEPP as soon as possible and well before the proposed extended June deadline. The delay could push the project back another seven years because of the missed opportunity to receive congressional authorization for CEPP through WRDA 2014, ultimately leading to more suffering for the surrounding ecosystems, estuary communities, and local economies.”
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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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