Everglades, stripped of U.N. endangered status, may see federal funding

The Florida Everglades may get a budgetary boost from the U.S. government, a month after being removed from the U.N. World Heritage Committee’s list of endangered sites. The nearly $2 billion is part of a $21 billion national water bill expected to be passed by Congress this week. The money is a nod toward the Everglades restoration plan created in 2000, which said Florida and the feds would split the costs evenly; of the more than $7 billion spent so far, about two-thirds has come from the state. Is that because the Bush administration thinks things are going swimmingly? They did push for the U.N. endangered-list removal, citing progress — and going against a recommendation from the National Park Service. (The U.S. delegation was led by an Interior official who’s a former aide to ex-Rep. Richard Pombo, eco-hata.) Says Robert Johnson of the South Florida Natural Resources Center at Everglades National Park, “I think for the Bush administration, it was seen as a black eye to be on that list.”