Extended For U.S.
On March 11 South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board cast a unanimous vote to extend the agency’s contract terms with U.S. Sugar Corp. over the pending acquisition of land that will be used to save the Everglades.
The contract extension was required to secure the acquisition of 73,000 acres of much-needed land that will be the cornerstone of a cost-effective water management initiative designed to sustain the water supply of millions of people and rescue the treasured Everglades ecosystem from certain peril.
“The members of the governing board demonstrated considerable leadership today by committing to this vitally important land acquisition within the Everglades Agricultural Area. This is the best opportunity we will have in our lifetimes to sustain our water supply and build the foundation for all future Everglades restoration projects,” said Kirk Fordham, CEO, Everglades Foundation.
“This land acquisition will save taxpayers money in the long term and provide the South Florida Water Management District an opportunity to prioritize projects around a water treatment and storage footprint that will provide the maximum benefits to residents and the environment.”
The Everglades Foundation has long advocated land acquisition in the Everglades Agricultural Area as the most cost-effective option available for Florida to fulfill its commitment to Everglades restoration. In addition, the foundation expects the revised proposal for U.S. Sugar Corp. land to provide the initial acreage to launch promising water quality projects and allows for the acquisition of additional land for restoration purposes in the near future.
The foundation’s position is that the health of the Everglades is not only vital
to the environment, but also to the economy and quality of life in South Florida.
The organization has assembled a team of scientists, policy experts and communications
professionals and works with partners on several fronts to educate, advocate and litigate -- when necessary -- to advance Everglades restoration. In addition, the foundation provides grants to like-minded local, national and international organizations and collaborates with other business, civic and environmental groups to form coalitions and set priorities to move restoration initiatives forward.