The Bush administration yesterday revised its proposed rules for the $7.8 billion renovation of the Florida Everglades, with environmentalists greeting the changes as imperfect but undeniably better than the last draft. Under the new rules, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District would still lead the restoration effort, but with more input from the Interior Department — a key demand of environmentalists. The new draft also earned points from environmentalists by redefining restoration to include better water quality and a healthier ecosystem, not just restored water flow. Enviros had criticized the earlier draft as a water-supply and flood-control plan masquerading as a rescue mission for alligators, panthers, otters, birds, and other flora and fauna of the Everglades. April Gromnicki of Audubon of Florida, said the new draft is “much better,” but added that, “It couldn’t have gotten any worse.”

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