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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)

WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday, October 19, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Vice Chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee, led a delegation visit to South Florida with local and state elected officials, as well as some important stakeholders in the community. The members hosted a roundtable discussion on Everglades Restoration and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) for 2020. After the roundtable, members took an airboat tour of Everglades National Park.

“We had a productive trip this weekend, and I’m glad we had the chance to show Chairwoman Napolitano this national treasure that we’re fighting for on the Water Subcommittee. We discussed potential ways to use WRDA to speed up Everglades restoration, the importance of building resiliency against rising sea levels, and the value of natural infrastructure. The Chairwoman and I will be working closely to follow up on some of the suggestions proposed,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “The roundtable also stressed how crucial it is to transition from septic to sewer, for the sake of our water quality, the safety of our beaches, and the survival of our coral reefs. I’m eager to get back to DC to work on these critical issues. Water is life, we cannot allow it to be destroyed.”

“The successful roundtable kicked off our Subcommittee’s discussion for the blueprint of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020,” said Chairwoman Napolitano. “There is nothing like being able to see firsthand the important role that water plays in a community, and Florida served as a great location to see the Army Corps of Engineers’ key mission areas of navigation, flood control, and ecosystem restoration in action. I want to sincerely thank Vice-Chair Mucarsel-Powell for hosting us and explaining the important role Florida’s ports play to the economy and the vital ongoing environmental restoration efforts in South Florida and the Everglades. A thank you also to the Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service for accompanying us on a tour of the Everglades restoration.” 

Pictures and participants from the event are below.

Pictures from the roundtable in Islamorada and the boat tour of the Everglades can be found here.  

Participants included:

  • Chair Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
  • Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)
  • Mayor Deb Gillis (Islamorada)
  • State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez
  • Secretary Noah Valenstein, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Michael Rubin, Florida Ports Council
  • Mary Barley, Everglades Foundation
  • Cheryl Meads, South Florida Water Management District
  • Dr. Jayantha Obeysekera, Florida International University (FIU)