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Originally published Monday, April 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM

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Biden in Everglades, touting restoration projects

Vice President Joe Biden has taken what he says was his first airboat ride, touring a swath of the Everglades while touting the benefits of a federally funded restoration project to restore the flow of water.

Associated Press

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EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. —

Vice President Joe Biden has taken what he says was his first airboat ride, touring a swath of the Everglades while touting the benefits of a federally funded restoration project to restore the flow of water.

Biden boated past a bridge project west of Miami that will elevate a cross-Everglades highway that long dammed water flowing through Everglades National Park. Environmentalists say the project will improve wetlands habitat for alligators, wading birds and other wildlife.

The project was approved in 2000 but construction was only expedited after years of legal challenges using stimulus money under President Barack Obama's administration, park officials say.

Biden brought his granddaughter along on the airboat tour and also was joined by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, two Florida Democrats.

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