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Scott Travels to Washington in Support of Florida's Everglades

Gov. Rick Scott, along with the state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. and the South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Melissa Meeker, traveled to Washington on Thursday in support of Floridas Everglades.

During a meeting of state and federal principals, Scott presented the states restoration efforts on lands already in public ownership and offered to help with federal water flow projects in the Everglades, the governor's office reported.

We have a conceptual path forward for one of our longstanding challenges, and I am extremely optimistic that through cooperation and collaboration we will deliver measurable and permanent results, Vinyard stated in a release.

While in Washington they met with U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Secretary of Civil Works Jo Ellen Darcy and U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno.

The full release from Scotts office is below:

Florida remains steadfast in its commitment to restoring Americas Everglades. The state has invested significant resources to improving water quality and supply for this unique ecosystem and South Floridas 7.7 million residents. Yet we recognize there is more work to do.

Today, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to ask our federal and state Everglades restoration partners to agree on a strategy that puts the ecosystem first and prevents costly, ongoing litigation from derailing our mutual progress toward restoration. A strong Florida partnership will help usher in the next generation of projects that will improve water quality in South Florida, while still protecting jobs and the states economy.

The proposed plan directs the Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to build on the states $1.8 billion investment in water quality improvements and move forward with additional remedies that will achieve the stringent water quality requirements established for the Everglades.

This plan puts to use strategic lands already in public ownership so that these projects can be authorized and built promptly, in the right locations and at a reasonable cost to the taxpayers. A healthy Everglades is part of a healthy economy. Yet it is also one of Americas treasures. It fully deserves our best efforts to resolve differences, refocus on our goals and deliver results. This strategy can make that happen.

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