To continue Everglades restoration, Florida would need to plug canals, build levees and create large water storage areas to guide clean water through western Broward and Palm Beach counties and into the core of the famed “River of Grass.” To accommodate the gigantic cargo ships arriving through the widened Panama Canal, Port Everglades would need its channels deepened. These Florida projects would generate thousands of jobs and bolster the local economies, yet they depend on millions of federal dollars.  They are a bit closer to reality this week, however, after the U.S. Senate finally approved a comprehensive water bill that would authorize spending on these and other projects across the nation.

The long-awaited Water Resources Development Act, which has not been renewed since 2007, was a milestone that helps clear a path for a burst of construction and commerce.  It still requires approval of the House of Representatives.