By Jenn Domashevich
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Vice President Joe Biden discussed the Administration's efforts to restore the Everglades at the S-356 pump station, a component of the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD) to Everglades National Park project in Miami-Dade County, Fla., April 23, 2012.
"About a mile from here, we're building a bridge to raise up the Tamiami Trail so there can be a natural flow of water," Biden said.
Construction of the $81 million Tamiami Trail project, a key component of the MWD to Everglades Nation Park, began in 2010. The project includes constructing a one-mile bridge and raising and reinforcing an additional 9.7 miles of road, allowing increased water flows that are essential to the health and viability of the Everglades.
"Last year, the Corps of Engineers' construction project generated 6,600 good paying jobs for Floridians and their families -- and thousands of indirect jobs," Biden said. Restoration projects currently underway will garner "$46.5 billion net additional revenue to the state of Florida -- just as a consequence of this restoration."
Biden was accompanied by his 18-year-old granddaughter, Naomi, who he pulled out of school to see the Everglades for herself.
"The truth of the matter is, people around the country, you know, they know the Everglades," Biden said. "But they just, they have no comprehension, no comprehension of what a federal and national treasure it is. It supports some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet -- including 68 threatened and endangered species, 350 species of birds and it's the only place on earth where the Florida panther lives."