LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Fla. (AP) — The new secretary of the interior has taken her first airboat ride in Florida's Everglades.
Secretary Sally Jewell took over the department from Ken Salazar earlier this month. Her stop Wednesday in South Florida is one of her first official trips and highlights the importance of Everglades restoration to the agency responsible for national parks and other public lands.
She took her first Everglades tour in Palm Beach County's Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. She also planned an airboat tour and an 8-mile hike through Everglades National Park.
Jewell says she has a lot to learn about the Everglades, but she defends the billions of dollars that have been directed to restoration projects. She says Everglades restoration creates jobs and helps preserve both South Florida's environment and its drinking water supply.