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The state of Florida plans to launch eight Everglades restoration projects, building reservoirs that could ease suburban flooding and environmental damage from hurricanes.
The projects are part of a 30-year, $8.4 billion federal-state program to partially restore natural water flow through the Everglades.
Congress has yet to fully fund the restoration, partly due to federal concerns and criticism of Florida's recent overhaul of water pollution laws.
"Florida is strengthening its commitment to the Everglades by further accelerating the largest environmental restoration effort in this nation's history Completing critical restoration projects more than 10 years ahead of schedule will save money and provide immediate environmental, social and economic benefits," said Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush discussed more about the state's plan at a wildlife refuge Thursday. Two of the projects will improve freshwater flow into Biscayne and Florida bays and reduce dirty water flow from Lake Okeechobee.
The South Florida Water Management District will principally manage the eight projects. It will pay the estimated $1.5 billion bill through special bonds and be reimbursed later by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.