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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
2:29 PM

CONTACT: NPCA

John Adornato, Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association, C: 954-309-9307

Interior Secretary Salazar Visits Everglades; Parks Group Advocates for Commitment to Everglades Restoration and National Park

Statement by NPCA Regional Director John Adornato

WASHINGTON - May 28 - "Today's visit by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the Everglades provides him an opportunity to see firsthand the critical need to restore our historic River of Grass. A healthy and revitalized Everglades is the bedrock of South Florida's environment, economy, and quality of life.

"The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, passed by Congress in 2000, was a groundbreaking law aimed at restoring America's Everglades after decades of destruction. Yet over the last eight years, federal funding and support has been inadequate, leaving the Everglades on life support and providing little benefit to the South Florida national parks.

"Earlier this year, 41 environmental groups together challenged the Administration to take immediate action to advance Everglades restoration, underlining the need for leadership and significant federal investment in shovel-ready Everglades restoration projects.

"We commend Congress and the Administration for responding to this call to action, to restore the Everglades, create jobs, and thereby improve our economy. With the Florida delegation leading the way, they are giving due priority to the Everglades as an important and lasting investment on behalf of America. Between the stimulus package, the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, and the president's 2010 budget request, federal funding for the Everglades has significantly and appropriately increased. These dollars will improve the natural system and advance long awaited Everglades restoration projects, including the Picayune Strand and Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park.

"This important reinvestment will address some needs, but there is more to be done. We must ensure our elected officials stay focused on restoration goals, and encourage Congress to fund the president's proposed fiscal year 2010 budget, which would increase federal funding for America's Everglades and national parks across the country.

"We applaud Secretary Salazar for visiting our national treasure. If we ever hope to restore the Everglades, we need leadership and continued commitment from both our state and federal governments. We must leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren by saving one of the great special places in the world-America's Everglades."

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NPCA is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.


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