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Federal, State Officials Gather For Everglades Coalition Conference This Weekend

The 29th annual Everglades Coalition Conference kicks off in Naples Friday.

Federal officials, members of Congress and state lawmakers will attend this year’s conference hosting 57 environmental groups working on Everglades restoration.

The theme for this year’s event is how restoration efforts benefit coastal communities.

Jennifer Hecker, a policy director with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, which is hosting the conference, said her group will recommend increased spending on projects aimed at improving water quality in the River of Grass.

“We need to pick up the pace with these restoration efforts, she said. “We are seeing diminished water quality and water supply all throughout South Florida—and without Everglades restoration we are not going to be able to reverse that trend.”

Keynote speakers include Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell and Everglades Caucus Co-Founder Rep. Mario Diaz Balart. Gov. Rick Scott is not scheduled to attend.

The conference runs from Friday, January 9th through Sunday at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. 

Ashley Lopez is a reporter forWGCUNews. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree.
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