funds for the Ponce De Leon Inlet
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for your time and
consideration of these important projects.
Mr. Young. Mr. Chairman, I suggested to my Florida colleagues
earlier today that your generosity and this subcommittee's generos-
ity will be relative to our brevity, and I think we will yield back
our time to get you back on your announced schedule. We appre-
ciate your consideration and look forward to working with you as
we go through our appropriation process this year.
Mr. Knollenberg. I was about to compliment you being just
that: effective and efficient. You have done an excellent job and I
appreciate that very much.
Wednesday, February 28, 1996.
HON. PETER DEUTSCH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Knollenberg. We welcome now Congressman Deutsch from
Florida, who missed the earlier hour, but he is here now with us
to take up where they left off.
So Congressman Deutsch.
Mr. Deutsch. Thank you very much.
In fact, I was working on something that is very much related
to what my testimony is, which is the Everglades restoration. If
you have been following the farm bill debate, you are aware that
Congressman Foley and myself have an amendment this afternoon
that would actually appropriate actually $210 million for land ac-
quisition. But this subcommittee really for more than a decade has
really been the leader in the â€” in the country, in the world, in terms
of the Everglades restoration on some of the projects that have
been appropriated through this subcommittee.
I have some testimony that I would like to submit for the record,
but really try to briefly summarize it.
For those Members on this subcommittee who have been here â€”
been here for a while, just anyone covering the â€” ^you know, in Con-
gress, this subcommittee's jurisdiction includes the major Ever-
glades restoration projects that have occurred up to this point in
time, which is different than what we are going to do this after-
noon, and hopefully will pass.
The Senate has actually already done that in their farm bill at
a little bit lesser amount. But these are the actual Corps of Engi-
neers' projects, which is the, C-111 South Dade Project, which will
restore historic water flows to Taylor Slough and eastern pan-
handle areas to the Everglades National Park which will help re-
duce the deterioration that is going in Florida Bay. That is a con-
tinuation of an existing project; the C-51 West Improvement
Project, needed to implement the Everglades River Act, which will
provide five stormwater treatment areas to filter agricultural flood
waters before being discharged into the Everglades.
And, again, you are aware of the Kissimmee River Project which
this subcommittee has funded; the restoration will restore the nat-
ural stream flow where the Corps in a previous year actually made
the Kissimmee, which was a wandering river, a canal, and through
our appropriations we have actually restored it to a wandering
river again. Hopefully, we won't restore it back to a canal 20 years
from now, but I don't think we will.
So that really is the focus. And again, to thank this committee
for its effort, and I believe that hopefully you will continue in those
efforts on this project.
Just very, very quickly, a smaller dollar amount, but still a sig-
nificant area, is the Aquatic Plant Management and Research
Project. Again, I can ask a question, I am assuming all of you are
pretty familiar with the problem of exotic plants and their effect on
the Everglades. It is a subissue to all of this. But we can spend a
lot of money doing restoration, but unless we deal with the exotic
plants, the aquatic plants that are essentially invading the Ever-
glades and doing more research on how to get rid of them, we are
going to end up spending more money in the future.
The calculations are that for every 50 cents we invest in the
plant control program, we save more than $100 in management
costs down the road. That is a pretty good rate of return for our
We have funded this really every year but not a level where we
can really maximize the benefits. So just from a purely economic
standpoint, we are going to pay for it now or pay for it later. So
I would urge the subcommittee to really try to increase the funding
level on the aquatic plant management research.
Finally, just several local issues in Dade and Monroe Counties,
I will just mention very quickly that I know other people have
talked about the Dade County issues. Dade County has the good
fortune to have six Members of Congress represent them, and so
all of us can fight those issues, including the waste water refuge
facility and the Miami Harbor redredging.
Monroe County has the good fortune of only having one Member
of Congress representing them, and I have the good fortune of sit-
ting here, and that is the Florida Keys. There is a Federal project
that has been going on in Smathers Beach in Key West, which the
Federal share of that is only $211,000, and hopefully that is some-
thing that the subcommittee will include in its budget at this point
Now, also one of the really â€” unfortunately, in the sense of new
issues, the Monroe County sewage treatment upgrade, just in
terms of this whole Everglades restoration picture, what the best
science is really telling us now is that the existing sewage system
in Monroe County is not adequate. Traditionally, obviously, the
local government should be dealing with it, but because of the Fed-
eral issue of Florida Bay and the Everglades, the resources in Mon-
roe County do not allow it to do this type of upgrade within its
sewer system. So hopefully it really is viewed as a Federal project
and hopefully we can get some money out of the appropriations
process for that facility.
Thank you very much.
[The statement of Mr. Deutsch follows:]
JOMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
Congress of ttjc ^nitcD States
l^ouse of j^eprcscntatibes
(Klashington. D(C 20515-0920
TESTIMONY OF REPRESENTATIVE PETER DEUTSCH
BEFORE THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY & WATER DEVELOPMENT
February 28, 1996
Chairman Meyers and members of the committee, I appreciate
this opportunity to testify before the Energy and Water
Development Subcommittee to discuss South Florida's public works
program. I also appreciate the committee's effort to begin this
process early, and I respectfully request permission to refine my
testimony with specific funding levels in future correspondence
once the Administration presents its budget requests.
In South Florida, public works are synonymous with securing
our economic future because our economy is integrally linked to
the health our environment. As you know. South Florida is home
to the Everglades - the largest subtropical wetland in the
United States and a unique national treasure. Everglades
National Park, established in 1947, is designated an
International Biosphere Reserve, and Outstanding Florida Water,
and a United Nations World Heritage Site. The Everglades "River
of Grass" contains a diversity of plants and wildlife not found
anywhere in the United States .
Unfortunately, the Everglades is also among the most
endangered ecosystems in the world, and we have invested
significant federal resources to help rebuild the system. As you
know, Mr. Chairman, the plight of the Everglades has received
broad national attention as Congress has studied new ways to fund
this national priority. Last week, the Administration proposed
an aggressive new funding initiative to accelerate restoration -
seeking a balanced cost share between taxpayers and Florida's
sugar industry. I deeply appreciate the committee's strong
support for Everglades restoration, and I am again requesting
strong support for projects critical to the South Florida
Ecosystem Restoration Initiative.
CENTRAL AND SOUTH FLORIDA PROJECT
C&SF COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW STUDY
Authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1992,
the C&SF Review Study reexamines the C&SF in order to determine
the feasibility of structural or operational changes to the
project to fulfill its multiple purposes, which include flood
protection, maintaining water supplies, protection of water
quality, and environmental enhancement. Accordingly, the C&SF
review study provides the critical road map for addressing the
multiple use objectives and conflicts caused by the competition
for water resources.
C-1 11 /SOUTH DADE PROJECT
Canal 111 is part of the South Dade County portion of the
C&SF project, and serves two, often conflicting purposes. - It
removes excess water for agricultural flood protection, and it
provides water deliveries to Everglades National Park. To help
resolve these often conflicting purposes, a C-111 reevaluation
report with integrated environmental impact statement was
developed and finally approved on July 1, 1994. It provides a
plan for modifications to the existing water management system
that will restore historic freshwater flows in the Taylor Slough
and Eastern Panhandle areas of Everglades National Park, which s
expected to help reverse the current deterioration of Florida
Bay. Existing flood protection will be maintained for developed
lands east of canals L-31N and C-111. In addition to this
progress, the project cooperation agreement was signed on
January 13, 1995, with the SFWMD.
C-51 WEST IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT
We are requesting continued support for improvements to the
C-51 West Palm Beach Canal. This project calls for construction
of five storm water treatment areas. Marsh vegetation in these
treatment areas will be used to filter agricultural floodwaters
before they are discharged to the Everglades. The C-51 project
is an integral part of a technical plan produced from
negotiations with the agricultural community, and it ranks high
among the State and Administration priorities. Continued funding
for this project will not only provide flood control and water
supply benefits, but also water quality improvement benefits.
MODIFIED WATER DELIVERY TO EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
We also request that the committee favorably consider two
concurrent efforts directed at improving water deliveries to the
Everglades National Park (ENP) . The Everglades National Park
Protection and Expansion Act authorizes structural and
operational modifications to the C&SF project to restore natural
hydrologic conditions and enhance the natural resources of the
Shark River Slough. While this project is funded through the
National Park Service in conjunction with the Corps, we urge your
favorable consideration of adequate funding for this critical
The Kissimmee River project is critical to the restoration
of the natural water flows through the Everglades and into
Florida Bay. The Kissimmee River is the headwater of the
Everglades ecosystem, but flood control efforts have diverted
much of the water which previously flowed into the Everglades.
In 1992, Congress authorized the Kissimmee River Restoration
Project, which will help restore the original flow by backfilling
portions of the river which were previously straightened.
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the first
phase of backfilling in 1997.
AQUATIC PLANT CONTROL & RESEARCH
At a time when many states, including Florida, are
experiencing surges in growth of invasive exotic plant species,
it is critical that Congress support the Corps of Engineers'
aquatic plant management cost-share program. Controlling the
spread of exotics is essential to restoring the Everglades and
maintaining Florida's navigable waterways.
We have been very successful in garnering delegation
support, and I hope the committee will fund the program at its
authorized $12.0 million level. We are grateful House and Senate
conferees continued the program by appropriating $4.0 million for
Fiscal Year 1996, but $12 million is needed to cover both
research and weed control needs. The Corps' aquatic plant
management program is a wise investment, for I understand that
each fifty cents invested toward hydrilla control today saves
more than $100 in new management costs later.
DADE COUNTY - WASTEWATER REUSE FACILITY
I am also requesting $500,000 to support the Army Corps of
Engineers' study into the need for a proposed wastewater reuse
facility in Dade County. This will enable the Corps to complete
the reconnaissance stage and begin the feasibility stage.
The Dade facility promises significant benefits. The South
Florida Water Management District has determined that Dade County
is a critical water storage area. Due to the competing demands
between restoration efforts, growing human needs, and
agriculture, the water supply system is stressed beyond the
region's existing and projected water resources.
The high quality reclaimed water produced by the reuse
facility will help satisfy the natural systems and agricultural
demands by augmenting the canal system water levels, improving
protection against salt water intrusion, replacing the potable
water currently used for irrigation, and helping restore the
natural hydrologic flows to the Everglades and related wetlands
MIAMI HARBOR - DREDGING PROJECT
The Port of Miami is the largest cruise ship port in the
world, and the second largest general cargo port on the Atlantic.
It is essential for the safety and efficiency of cargo and
passenger ships that the deepening of the Miami Harbor be
completed as expeditiously as possible. To this end, the Port of
Miami has entered into a reimbursement agreement with the Army
Corps and is proceeding with the dredging program. Timely
reimbursement of the federal share is essential in order to
assure that the dredging is not interrupted and is completed on
schedule. Should the federal share of this work not be
reimbursed to the Seaport Department in Fiscal Years 1996 and
1997, it would have a substantial impact on the capital
improvement program that will delay essential projects for port
I am requesting that the subcommittee provide $10.0 million
for the federal share of dredging the Miami Harbor main ship
channel. This would be in addition to the reprogrammed funds
which the Dade County Congressional delegation has requested for
Fiscal Year 1996.
CITY OF KEY WEST - SMATHERS BEACH RENOURISHMENT
I am also requesting a small appropriation of $211,800 for
the remaining federal share of the Smathers Beach renourishment
project in Key West, Florida. Since Key West's economy is
tourist -based, their limited beaches are of critical importance.
The Monroe County Shore Protection Project started with a
feasibility report in 1982 for 8,770 feet of beach renourishment
on the major beach in the City. I understand the Corps
determined early on that the benefit ratio for this project was
one of the best in the nation. In 1986, the Water Resources
Development Act authorized a federal cost share of $4.15 million.
Although federal funding for all beach nourishment projects was
cut in 1989, the City of Key West and the Army Corps continued to
work together to complete the project. The City is now
overcoming an additional hurdle by addressing the state's
concerns. Key West expects state permit approval within 6 months
of submittal, and we respectfully request adequate funding for
the federal share to complete this project. I have included
detailed information from the City of Key West to help the
committee in its consideration. We will continue to update the
committee on the progress we are making in finalizing state
permit approval .
MONROE COUNTY - SEWAGE TREATMENT UPGRADES
South Florida is home to another national treasure - North
America's only coral barrier reef. Located about six miles off
the Florida Keys at the southern end of the vast Everglades
ecosystem, the reef parallels the 158-mile string of islands, and
is among the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems in the
world. The Keys' reef system is alive with an abundance of fish,
stony and soft corals, sponges, jellyfish, anemones, snails,
crabs, lobsters, rays, sea turtles and other sea life. The Keys'
marine ecosystem not only supports a diversity of life, but it
also supports the economy of Monroe County.
The special importance of the Keys' environment has made it
a top concern at the local, state, and federal levels. Congress
recognized the need to protect this national resource by
designating the waters around the Keys a National Marine
Sanctuary in 1989. One important priority is upgrading Monroe
County's outdated sewage treatment infrastructure. The 82,000
residents and millions of visitors to the Florida Keys rely
mainly on 25,000 septic tanks and 5,000 to 10,000 illegal
cesspits for sewage treatment. These systems do not function
properly in the porous rock of the Keys. Scientific studies have
shown that excessive nutrients in nearshore waters are a direct
result of improperly treated sewage.
Monroe County is currently developing an ambitious sewage
treatment plan to help improve water quality in the Keys. This
is one of the most important investments we can make. While the
details of the plan are still being finalized, I have pledged to
work with the County to seek federal assistance which I hope this
committee can provide. In the coming months I will also be
working with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for
appropriate authorization. The Keys' environment is a vital
asset for the people of Monroe County and the nation. I look
forward to continuing work with the committee on this issue.
On behalf of the people of South Florida - for their
economy and the health of their environment that is a treasure to
all Americans - I appreciate this opportunity and look forward
to continuing work with the committee.
THE CITY OF KEY WEST
P.O. BOX 1409
KEY WÂ»T, FLORIDA 3J041-140S
February 22, 1996
The Honorable Peter Ocutsch
United States Representative, District 20
204 Cannon House Office Building
RÂ£: Federal Funding for Monroe County Shore Protection Project,
Dear Congressman Deutsch:
On behalf of the citizens of the City of Key West, I respectfully request that you obtain a
Congressional Appropriation for the funding of the McMuoe County Shore Protection Project.
Smathers Beach Renourishment Section for S21 1,800.00 to begin construction in fiscal year 1997-
1998. Since the nature of Key Wesfsecomnny is tourist based, our limited beaches are of the
utmost importance. The Smathers Beach Project must be funded soon or wc may face the loss of
our largest beach.
The cost estimate for the project is:
Planning. Engineering and Design (USACE Figures) $ 818.000.00*
Sand Nourishment (USACE Figures) S 739.600.00
Seagrass Transfdantation (USACE Estimate) $ 100.000.00
Mitigation Preparation (City Estimate) S 402.000.00
I aak that you obtain a Congressional Appropriation for the remaining (30%) Federal cost share of
$211,800.00 to Stan construction in fiscal year 1997-1998. The balance will be funded by the City
of Key West
Key to (he Caribbean - Average yearly temperature 77" F.
The Monroe County Shore Protection Project started with a feasibility report in February of 1982
for 8,770 feet of beach rcnounshmeni on the tnajor beach in the City, The Corps determined early
on that the benefit ratio for this project was one oithc best in the nation. The Water Resources
Development Act of 1986 authonzed the payment for a Federal cost share of $4,150,000.00 The
Board of Rivers and Harbors recommended Ihc project move forward in 3,000 foot segments as
needed. Federal funding for all beach renourishment projecu was cut in 1989 and our funding for
the project was promptly lost.
Though funding was lost. Monroe County. The City of Key West and the United States Army Corps
of Engineers did not give upon the project. We continued to work together in earnest to make it
a reality. In 1993, the Florida Department of Natural Resources issued a letter of nonconcurrence
because the project would negatively impact 4 7 acres of seagrass.
We have worked steadily from October 1993 when the Draft General Design Memorandum was
completed to address all oithc Department of Environmental Protection concerns and have reduced
the affected seagrass to three tenths of an acre Wc proposed over 4.5 acres of mitigation (including
enhancements and restoration of seagrass habitat) for tlic seagrass and the Department of
Environmental Protection has suggested that the permits will be approved within 6 months of
submittal. With permitting emment, funding is our next hurdle, and wc need immediate help to save
CITY OF KEY WEST
( 1 ) Army Corp of Engineer Cost Figures
(2) City ofKey West Cost Figures
(3) Draft General Design Memorandum Cover
Monroe County Beach Advisory Board
Shirley Freeman, Mayor, Monroe County
Shirley Freeman COUNTY OF MONROE Middle Keys oosi 289*038
Mayor ;l0flEMIN(, STKEn Upper Keys (3051852-7152
KEY WEST FLORIDA 11040 fax (3051292-3577
February 23. 1996
The Honorable Peter Deutsch
United States Representative, District 20
204 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC. 20515
Re: Smathers Beach Renourishment (Near Key West Airport)
Dear Congressman Deutsch,
Please help us with funds to renourish Smathers Beach in Key West.
We need a Congressional Appropriation of $21 1,800 for construction in fiscal year
Key West, Monroe County and the State of Florida will fund the balance of the
Mayor Shirley Freeman*
Monroe County. Florida
The Florida Keys - America's Caribbean Islands
Mr. Knollenberg. Thank you very much, Mr. Deutsch.
I noticed â€” was it the Mayor of Key West, he couldn't help rub-
bing it in a little bit that the average temperature down there is
Mr. Deutsch. Right. Let me tell you I actually have an office in
Key West, if anyone wants to apply for my district director.
Mr. Knollenberg. We send enough down, I think, as it is. But
it is a great part of the country.
Mr. Deutsch. That office actually spends about a third of their
time arranging just accommodations and restaurant advice of
Members who find a reason to visit.
I will mention for those of you on the Appropriations Defense
Subcommittee, actually the major installation of the operation that
the Joint Task Force oversees in the South American Caribbean is
based in Key West. In fact, it has been in the news recently be-
cause the recordings â€” it is not classified information but all the re-
cordings of the pilots of the MIG jets actually were from that loca-
tion in Key West. It is really an incredible operation. So it is a good
reason to visit, especially since it is very topical.
Mr. Knollenberg. That will be part of the record so we will
take a look at that.
[The statements of the Hon. Porter Goss, Hon. Lincoln Diaz-
Balart and Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen follow:]
Â« CANNON auiLOiNG
Congress of tije tHnited States!
jll^ouse of ^epre^entatibes
liHasbmgton, Mâ‚¬ 20513-0914
Testimony Before the Appropriations
Subcommittee on Energy & Water
28 February 1996
Summary of Requests :
Captiva Erosion Prevention (reimbursement)
Lee County Shore Protection
Fon Myers Beach (emergency reimbursement)
Charlotte Harbor (navigation)
Kissunmee River Restoration
Central & Southern Florida Redesign
C-51 West Project
Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. This panel has supported
a number of worthy projects in Rorida. and I know that assistance is appreciated.
This is an unusual year to present the funding requests for Corps of Engineers projects vital to
Southwest Rorida. As you are well aware, the Corps has not presented its own budget request -
- usually the "reference material" for this hearuig. As a result of the delay by the Administration
in finalizing this request, many of the local project sponsors are unable to provide precise numbers -
- so I hope the committee will understand if some of the figures presented today are more along the
lines of estimates that could be revised at a later date.