Whatever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?
South of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world’s largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.
“The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando,” says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.
That’s nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.
Five years ago, Florida officials announced a deal many believed would do just that. It was a plan to buy nearly 300 square miles of Everglades land owned by U.S. Sugar. But then, reality set in: The economy worsened and political opposition grew, forcing state officials to settle for a much smaller parcel.
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