For Immediate Release

Contact: 

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 - "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.

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"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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