Shrinking Land

Florida Scales Back Everglades Restoration Plan




Budget tightening has Governor Charlie Crist significantly scaling back Florida’s $1.34 billion plan to help restore the Everglades by buying 180,000 acres from the United States Sugar Corporation. The more modest proposal is $530 million for 72,500 acres, with an option to buy the rest by 2019.

If the altered plan is approved by the South Florida Water Management District and the board of United States Sugar, 32,000 acres of land currently used for citrus would be available to the state for water storage and treatment within a year. The other 40,500 acres would continue to be farmed for sugar for at least seven years on a leaseback program.

Despite the smaller scope, Crist notes that it’s still the biggest land purchase in Florida’s history, representing acreage that’s twice the size of Orlando. Thomas Van Lent, a senior scientist at the Everglades Foundation, described the deal as “a pretty good down payment.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

‘Sink’ Setback

Logging, drought and wildfires may be turning forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America into carbon emitters rather than absorbers.

Clear Gain

Scientists have developed a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that looks like clear glass that could potentially supply two-fifths of U.S. energy needs.

Top Polluters

New research shows that a 100 fossil-fuel producers globally are responsible for 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions during the last 30 years.

Waxworm Wonders

Bacteria found in waxworms can digest plastic in mere weeks or months, far outperforming other plastic decomposition processes requiring 10 to 1,000 years.

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags