Letter to Chairman Jim Inhofe, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Ranking Member Barbara Boxer, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman Bill Shuster, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Authorize CEPP to Send Water South


Dear Chairman Inhofe, Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member Boxer and Ranking Member DeFazio:

As Members of the Florida delegation, we write to express our strong support for Everglades restoration. These important wetlands are critical for the environment of Florida and enjoy bipartisan support.

America's Everglades spans nearly two million acres of wetland ecosystems and waterways, stretching from Central Florida to the Peninsula. Our state's waterways are essential to both our economic health and to the environment. The Everglades is known to improve water quality, support agricultural activities, provide drinking water supplies for approximately 8 million Floridians, exhibits animal and plant diversity, and reduces flooding.

The Central Everglades Planning Process (CEPP) is a vital project, and once authorized by Congress, will be a major step towards the restoration of the Everglades. Due to delays by the Army Corps of Engineers in issuing the final Project Implementation Report (PIR), the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) did not include this important authorization. Now that this Chief's Report has been submitted, the Congress can move forward to final enactment.

The State of Florida has long been a partner in measures to counteract the damage and restore the Everglades. However, full restoration requires federal involvement. We respectfully request that you include the authorization of the Central Everglades Planning Project in the forthcoming Water Resources Development Act.