Federal stimulus money helps Everglades restoration

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it would pour $96 million of stimulus money into building a handful of key Everglades restoration projects. Combined with $183 million in a spending bill that Congress approved last month, it adds up to the largest one-year infusion of federal cash since the landmark restoration project was approved in 2000.

Florida congressional leaders, environmental groups and regional water managers were pleased about the prospects of simultaneously jump-starting the state's sputtering economy and its most important, and expensive, environmental challenge.

The Everglades construction money is the largest slice of a $250 million stimulus package for Florida unveiled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that also includes $25 million for Florida Keys sewer improvements, $6.5 million to repair failing gates and culverts on Lake Okeechobee's dike and an array of other work across the state.

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