We pay a lot of attention to the Everglades restoration and perhaps not enough attention to other important restoration projects in Florida, like the Indian River Lagoon and the Kissimmee River. This Orlando Sentinel article reminds us the Kissimmee River restoration is ongoing, and points out that studying the river’s inhabitants is a good way to assess pollution in the river. The restoration project will cost more than a half-billion dollars and take until at least 2012, the article says.
Image from Florida Department of Environmental Protection
A few weeks ago, we all thought we were going to see funding for several restoration projects around Florida, as I blogged about here. However, it appears President George Bush is thinking about vetoing the Water Resources Development Act, this article says, reporting that Senator Mel Martinez said he would fight against any veto. The article says the president thinks the $20B billion is too expensive.
” ‘4-H, you think of growing pigs, cows and chickens,’ [Ken] Nedimyer laughs. ‘We said, we’ll grow coral.’ ”
I love this coral restoration story, by NBC News. A Keys native who makes his living selling tropical fish online discovered endangered staghorn coral growing in his own tank. So when his teenage daughter needed a 4H project, they decided to work with Mote Marine Laboratory to help restore the coral, planting the staghorn to help revive dying reefs.
The article also mentions the Florida “Protect Our Reefs” license plate, whose funds go to Mote to aid in research on dying reefs — and that’s the license plate on my car!
Florida restoration projects will be able to move ahead, thanks to funding just approved by Congress; read more here.
Under the Water Resources Development Act, Congress has approved funding for several restoration projects: $1.4 billion for the Indian River Lagoon, $375 million for Picayune Strand State Forest, $81 million for an impoundment area near Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and $10 million to restore Peanut Island. There is also $1.5 million to study how strong the dike is around Lake Okeechobee.