It's clear, really. Saving the Everglades equals protecting Florida's drinking water supply. More than 7 MILLION residents of Florida, or about 1 of every 3 of us, rely on the Everglades for our daily supply of fresh water. Now, this resource that we value every day is in serious jeopardy.
The Florida Senate recently proposed a budget that eliminates funding for critical Everglades restoration projects. The Everglades Foundation is working with conservation partners to ask the Florida Senate to reconsider their initial proposal and approve a revised budget that includes a minimum of $40 million to restore our Everglades.
Without a clean and healthy Everglades, there is no wildlife, no fishing industry, drastically fewer tourists ... and no water for our growing population.
Please join us by contacting Governor Scott and members of the Florida Legislature to tell them a clean water supply is worth every drop!
I am writing to ask you to please reconsider the State Senate's initial funding recommendation for Everglades restoration. The proposed budget eliminates funding for critical Everglades restoration projects that directly affect Florida's clean water supply and the millions of residents that depend on it daily.
The Everglades ecosystem is a crucial link between water storage and water supply for almost 7 million Floridians. And at less than half its original size, one out of every three Floridians relies on the Everglades as the source of their fresh drinking water. As Florida continues to deal with the drought of 2011, it is imperative that we protect what clean water we have left.
Not only does funding Everglades restoration projects affect the environment, it will also impact jobs, real estate, and tourism. Projections show that investing $11.5 billion in Everglades restoration will result in $46.5 billion in gains to Florida's economy over the next 50 years. For every dollar invested in the Everglades, $4 more are generated.
A recent study also shows that Everglades restoration projects will create over 440,000 jobs over the next 50 years. This data is corroborated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who estimates there will be nearly 23,000 jobs created as a direct result of restoration projects. The majority of jobs, over 50%, will stem from the boost in residential construction and real estate.
It's time to allocate funds that restore water quality, restore jobs, and most importantly restore the Everglades. I urge to you and your colleagues to reevaluate the State Senate budget and strongly consider how valuable an ecosystem we have in the Everglades.
Thank you for your time and for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you.
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