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Vice President Biden Talks Everglades With Florida Officials

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Vice President Joe Biden is set to meet with Florida officials Thursday to talk about efforts to protect the Everglades.

The Board of Directors of the Everglades Foundation along with U.S. Representative Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18)  are set to meet with the vice president in the afternoon.

Rep. Murphy is also set to discuss the discovery of toxic blue-green algae that threatens the St. Lucie River.

The meeting comes a little more than a week after President Barack Obama stopped into South Florida and spoke about the effects of climate change on Earth Day.

Obama used the Everglades as a backdrop to warn the world and South Florida community of the damage from climate neglect.

The president said rising sea levels are threatening South Florida aquifers and called on Congress to provide money for a land and water protection fund. He also emphasized his administration's commitment to the world's largest public plumbing project, as environmentalists call it, the Everglades restoration.

"South Florida, you're getting your drinking water from this area. It depends on this," said the president on April 22nd.

Eric Eikenberg, CEO for the non-profit group the Everglades Foundation which actively pushes for the completion of the restoration project is expected to be at Thursday's meeting.

Last week, Eikenberg emphasized that the 240-million proposed in the president's 2016 budget is critical to the project's success to keep freshwater flowing, and preventing it from being contaminated and in some cases, dumped out into the ocean and Gulf.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has criticized the Obama administration over a backlog of federal dollars to maintain the Everglades.

In statement sent last week, he said in part, "We also need the federal government to step up their commitment to Everglades restoration by immediately requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the Lake Okeechobee dike."

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