Published: May 24, 2014 7:51 PM EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a $1.9 billion plan for central Everglades restoration projects, after weeks of criticism over its review process.
    
Environmentalists had hoped the Central Everglades Planning Project would be included in a federal water projects bill that now awaits President Barack Obama's signature. It's been seven years since the last water projects bill, and Everglades advocates worry that the slow pace of restoration will stall in congressional gridlock.
    
The Miami Herald reports (http://hrld.us/1grqwxJ ) that after the Senate approved the water bill Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote Assistant Army Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy and blamed the corps for missing the opportunity to include the plan.
    
Corps officials in Washington approved the plan Friday. It now goes to the South Florida Water Management District for review.
    
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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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