On Earth Day, Secretary Jewell to Celebrate Next Phase of Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Project

4/20/2016
Last edited 4/21/2016

Date: April 20, 2016
Contacts: Interior_press@ios.doi.gov
Allyson Gantt (NPS), allyson_gantt@nps.gov

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. – On Earth Day, Friday, April 22, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will participate in a celebration kicking off the next phase of bridging the Tamiami Trail to provide ecological restoration benefits to Everglades National Park and the central Everglades in Florida. This latest step forward represents a milestone in the Obama Administration and the State of Florida’s efforts to conserve the Everglades through a focus on restoring historic water flows and wildlife habitat. 

The announcement follows on the heels of Secretary Jewell’s conservation speech at National Geographic yesterday, where she outlined a major course correction in how we approach conservation to ensure a bright future for our public lands and waters.

Secretary Jewell will be joined by U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Carlos Curbelo and Patrick Murphy, Florida Department of Transportation District Secretary Gus Pego, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, National Park Service (NPS) Deputy Director Peggy O’Dell and other federal, state and conservation partners to celebrate the recent progress on Everglades restoration, which is one of the largest conservation projects ever undertaken by the NPS.

Through a collaborative effort between the NPS and the US Army Corps of Engineers, infrastructure improvements began in 2009 to restore flow by replacing sections of the Tamiami Trail roadway with bridges. The first mile of bridging was completed in 2013. The next two-and-a-half-mile bridge is made possible by a collaborative funding partnership among the NPS, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Lands Highway Program and Florida’s Department of Transportation. 

Jewell most recently visited Everglades National Park last April on Earth Day with President Obama to highlight steps the Administration has taken to act on climate change. Sea-level rise due to warming temperatures is increasing salinity in park ecosystems, likely to impact key plant and animal species such as the American crocodile.

Who:

 

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Gus Pego, District Six Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation
Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
Carlos Curbelo, U.S. Representative, Florida
Patrick Murphy, U.S. Representative, Florida
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, U.S. Representative, Florida
Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Peggy O’Dell, Deputy Director, National Park Service 
John Adornato, Senior Regional Director (Sun Coast Region), National Parks Conservation Association
Pedro Ramos, Superintendent, Everglades National Park 
Shannon Estenoz, Director, Everglades Restoration Initiatives, U.S. Department of the Interior 
Middle and high school students from Miami Arts Studio 6-12 at Zelda Glazer

What:

Celebration of the next phase of ecosystem restoration in Everglades National Park

When:

Friday, April 22, 2016 
1:45 p.m. EDT – Media check-in
2:00 p.m. EDT – Ceremony followed by a brief media availability 

Where:

Everglades National Park
Long Pine Key Campground Amphitheater 
Located 7 miles from the Main Park Entrance off the Main Park Road     

Media:

Credentialed members of the media are encouraged to RSVP here.