THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
(Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park)
Statement by Vice President Al Gore Announcing a New Plan to Restore the Florida Everglades
On behalf of President Clinton, I am proud to be here today to announce an innovative, flexible and fair plan to restore one of America's richest treasures -- the Florida Everglades.
Today we are charting a course that will lead Florida's families, Florida's economy, and Florida's children into a future of limitless possibility. We are announcing more than a restoration plan. It is an investment in Florida's -- and our nation's -- future.
We know the Everglades can't survive on its own. Nor can it restore itself. We can save the Everglades -- but only if we work as a community united by ideals that have bonded Americans for more than two centuries: taking responsibility and creating opportunity.
First, in partnership with the State of Florida, we will work to acquire the lands necessary to restore the heart of the Everglades. President Clinton will commit $100 million every year for the next four years for this purpose.
Second, we will increase funding for agency programs, sound science, land management, water projects, and other programs essential to restore the natural flow into the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay. Overall, President Clinton will double the federal investment in the Everglades, calling for a $1.5 billion commitment over the next seven years.
And finally, we believe the way to ensure the reliable long-term revenue needed to restore the Everglades and protect South Florida's economic future is through a balanced cost-share between the federal and state governments and those who have benefitted so long from public investment.
That is why we are asking the sugar industry to contribute its fair share to this historic plan -- specifically, by putting "a penny a pound" toward enhancing water quality and ensuring water quantity in South Florida. Through this investment we can build a sustainable sugar industry in a healthy Everglades.
We can -- and we will -- make the Everglades everlasting.