"We will look back on this day and realize that Florida made a bold move that paid off by preserving the most precious resource we have – clean water," said David Guest, managing attorney for the Florida office of Earthjustice. "This purchase will make Everglades restoration cheaper and more efficient."
"We commend Gov. Charlie Crist for thinking big and providing environmental leadership," Guest said.
Under the deal, Florida will pay U.S. Sugar $1.34 billion for 187,000 acres that sit between giant Lake Okeechobee and Everglades National Park. For years, engineers have been designing waterworks that would carry the water around this industrial farmland. Through the public purchase, the vast tract will be able to hold and filter polluted water as it moves south toward the Everglades and Florida Bay.
"The water management district board made a wise decision today," Guest said. "They made the right call."
David Guest, Earthjustice, (850) 681-0031