The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2028) is a bill that fund the energy programs and water infrastructure across the entire United State. This legislation affects every district, every county, and every state in the country. In a statement released after the 240-177 vote passage of the bill, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart stressed the importance of the ongoing Everglades restoration and protection projects, both for future generations and for the economic stability of Florida.
“The FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations bill provides for our nation’s waterways and energy infrastructure. As Floridians, we are lucky to have the Everglades in our backyard, and we must do everything we can to restore it to its natural state for future generations. This bill is significant to Florida, not only because of the Everglades restoration components, but it will improve our ports, channels, dams, and other infrastructure that supports our economy. Furthermore, Everglades restoration is critical for our drinking water supply in South Florida, while also providing a huge economic boost to our state. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to include full funding to restore the Everglades in this legislation, and I am very pleased with its passage.”
The efforts of Diaz-Balart provide for federal dollars to be set aside for numerous Everglades restoration and protection projects including $64 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike repair and restoration, $123 million for the Army Corps of Engineers projects for Everglades restoration and protection, and an additional $7 million for the maintence and operation of those ACoE projects.
According to Representative Carlos Curbello, the bill is a “step in the right direction” he continued saying that the bill will ensure that “environmental clean-up and energy programs expand and thrive throughout the country”.
In 2005, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart co-founded the Congressional Everglades Caucus to provide advocacy and issue awareness for the Florida Everglades and the projects associated with it. He serves as co-chair on that Caucus, as well as chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations.