Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Secures Funding for Florida Estuaries

Jun 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17), a member of the House Appropriations Committee secured $26.7 million for the National Estuary Program, which provides support for estuaries in South Florida included Charlotte Harbor. This program is part of the larger 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill which passed out of the full Committee today.

“The infrastructure projects funded by this bill are critical to keeping Florida beautiful and maintaining our state’s economic growth,” Rooney said. “This bill saves taxpayer money by prioritizing funding for programs that benefit our communities rather than padding the pockets of Washington regulators, and includes critical provisions to reduce the endangered species delisting backlog, fight invasive species that threaten our local ecosystems, and eliminate unnecessary job-killing regulations. Notably, this bill continues to push back against the EPA’s Waters of the US Rule (or, WOTUS), a classic example of federal government overreach that would cost Florida farmers and local governments billions of dollars, and holds EPA’s staffing levels at their lowest since 1989. I’m hopeful that when this bill comes to the floor my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can put politics aside and come together in support of it.”

The bill funds the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forest Service, Indian Health Service and various related agencies. In total, the bill cuts $64 million from the 2016 spending levels, and is $1 billion below the President’s budget request.

Funding requests submitted by Rooney that were accepted in the final 2017 bill include:

  • $26.7 million for the National Estuary Program, which provides support for three estuaries in South Florida – Charlotte Harbor, the Indian River Lagoon and Tampa Bay.
  • $50 million to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund conservation easements and land acquisitions.
  • $55.5 million in support of the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund grant program which facilitates federal partnerships with local governments.
  • Reduced funding for the EPA’s Criminal Enforcement Department to prevent the agency from enforcing its harmful Waters of the US Rule.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

For the text of the bill, please visit: