The Administration's plan recognizes that the costs of restoration should be borne by a balanced cost-share between the federal and state governments and those who have substantially benefited from federal programs and alterations to the ecosystem and who will potentially benefit from its restoration, including sugar-producing companies. The plan has three major funding components:
Overall, this approach will double the total federal funding for Everglades restoration to about $1.5 billion over the next 7 years. The Administration will use existing authorities and resources where available, and where necessary will seek new authorities from Congress. Guiding Principles
A Shared Vision of Restoration: The restoration of the Everglades, a unique national treasure, requires a shared vision of the desired condition of the entire South Florida ecosystem -- from the Kissimmee River to the Florida Keys -- that will restore and maintain the biological diversity and sustainability of the ecosystem and support actions that incorporate economic, sociocultural, and community goals.
Expanded Partnerships: The federal government will continue to support and work with on-going partnerships in South Florida with State, Tribal, and local governments, the private sector and individual citizens to accomplish ecosystem restoration and protection objectives, recognizing that the responsibility for issues of water and land use in the ecosystem are largely the responsibility of the State of Florida.
Non-Regulatory Programs: Non-regulatory programs, such as advance planning, research, and public-private cooperative efforts will be encouraged.
Shared Restoration Expenditures: The restoration expenditures should meet clearly defined objectives for the overall long-term effort to restore the ecosystem and should be borne jointly through a balanced cost-share between the federal and state governments and those who have substantially benefited from federal programs and alterations to the ecosystem and who will potentially benefit from its restoration, including sugar-producing companies.
Reliance on Sound Science: Restoration efforts must be scientifically sound, ecologically credible, and legally responsible. Research must be coordinated and focus on critical ecosystem needs, and together with careful monitoring, should support adaptive management.
The Administration will request authority to establish an "Everglades Restoration Fund" to receive discretionary funds and sugar marketing assessment receipts. The Fund's resources will be available without fiscal year limitation. The federal resources will be managed jointly by a cabinet-level group.
The proposed funding, combined with existing and new legislative authorities, will lay the foundation to implement these commitments:
Commitment 1. The Clinton Administration will increase its already substantial support for restoration and protection of the Everglades ecosystem. Specifically, we will:
Acquire in partnership with the State enough land to make restoration work, concentrating on the following areas:
- At least 100,000 acres of land in Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage, including acquisition of the Talisman Tract;
- Water preserve/aquifer recharge areas in the eastern edge buffer area for water quality and storage along with drinking water protection, the size of which will be determined after further study and analysis;
- Eastern Edge Buffer-Southern Transition Lands, for improved water delivery; and
- Expansion of Everglades National Park and other parks and refuges.
Accelerate and ensure completion of water supply and control projects, including:
- Complete the Modified Water Deliveries Project;
- Complete modifications to the C-111 Project, and revise the state/federal cost-share;
- Complete the C-51 Project, including acquisition of STA 1E; and
- Complete the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.
Undertake necessary ecosystem management and planning, including:
- Accelerate completion of the Corps of Engineers Central & South Florida Project Restudy;
- Develop a coordinated water quality improvement and protection plan for the south Florida ecosystem;
- Strengthen water quality standards to protect the Everglades and Florida Bay;
- Undertake with State and local officials a cooperative urban interface planning process;
- Expand exotic species control programs;
- Expand the Coral Reef Initiative; and
- Accelerate the Florida Keys Water Quality Protection Program.
Commitment 2. The Clinton Administration will work to ensure that Florida's sugarcane industry contributes its fair share of the costs of the restoration effort, in view of the industry's impact upon the environment and the benefits to industry from federal water projects and programs. Our policy will support collection of funding, seek to retire acreage where appropriate, improve management practices on those lands that remain in use, and engage the agricultural sector, both owners and workers, in the restoration effort. The President's budget request and other legislation will provide for:
Commitment 3. The Clinton Administration will maintain and expand its partnership with the people of Florida in virtually every aspect of the Everglades restoration effort. The Administration's plan would rely upon and enhance the role of key intergovernmental and stakeholder forums. The President's budget and associated legislation will provide for:
Commitment 4. The Administration will extend its Reinventing Government policy to the Everglades restoration effort, applying innovative and flexible approaches to restoration. In the next year, the Administration will complete development and begin implementation of:
Commitment 5. The Clinton Administration will reaffirm its support for changed sharing of the public costs of infrastructure projects, including associated land acquisition, related to restoration projects underway. It will explore the cost-sharing of future projects, following the completion of the Corps of Engineers' Restudy. The President's budget and associated legislation will provide for:
Commitment 6. The Clinton Administration will work to ensure that restoration efforts are guided by the best science available. The President's budget will provide funds to support: