COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A project that's been held up for more than two decades may finally make some progress, restoring the Everglades. The governor's new plan could affect your environment, your wallet, and even your drinking water.
Governor Rick Scott wants to spend millions more to clean up the water in the Everglades, and extend the deadline by six years.
"Whether you enjoy spoon bills and panthers, or whether you like to drink water, this is your issue," Brad Cornell with the Collier County Audubon Society tells WINK News.
He's part of a large group of environmentalists concerned with the governor's plan to extend the deadline for the Everglades restoration from 2016 to 2022. The extension leaves room for more pollution.
"The spoon bills are leaving, the snail kite is spiraling into extinction. It's really alarming. Plus, this is our water supply for South Florida, seven and a half million people," Cornell adds.
However, he sees the governor's talks with Washington as progress, "We're waiting to see, and look forward to seeing, what detailed restoration work comes out of this dialog."
There's no exact total for the extension, but based on previous numbers it could cost tax payers more than $660 million dollars.
Part of the restoration falls in Commissioner Jim Coletta's district.
"I'd love to see it come in below budget, I'd love to see it finish on time, but we have to be realistic in this world," Coletta says.
With the restoration being such a large project, he sees the governor's ideas as headway and an economic boost.
"We have to remember that this is a tremendous economic driving engine for that whole area of the county. It employs hundreds of people," Coletta explains.
Although some see the latest development from the governor as progress in the project, others wonder how much progress can really come from it. Scott recently made drastic cuts in the budget of the agency in charge of the restoration.
In order for the deadline extension to be approved, a U.S. district judge must approve it.