The U.S. House Monday passed the Kissimmee River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2017, also known as the Kissimmee River bill
The measure should designate Central Florida’s Kissimmee river and its tributaries in the state of Florida for study under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
This designation also grants the River critical ecological protections.
The measure, which passed unanimously by voice vote, had been championed by central Florida Congressman Darren Soto.
Soto called the passage "a major victory for our community and for our state."
The Kissimmee River is a naturally winding river that forms the headwaters of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, and serves as a vital component of ecosystem restoration in South Florida as a whole.
After decades of restoration and spending nearly $1 billion for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project, the River has significantly improved over 63,000 acres of wetlands within the watershed and reestablished an environment suitable for fish, wildlife, and wetland plants.