The New York Times calls it a “good deal for the Everglades” and newspapers across Florida are weighing in to support the state purchase of U.S. Sugar land in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Earlier this month, the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board voted unanimously to extend the contract deadline to purchase these lands, keeping the vision of achieving Everglades restoration alive.
But Florida lawmakers need to hear from you today. Lawmakers are being asked to scuttle this purchase and push back Everglades restoration for another generation.
Here’s what newspapers are saying:
A Good Deal for the Everglades
What the taxpayers need to remember is that this is a very good deal for the environment.
…some of those projects — a string of underground storage wells, for instance — made little sense to begin with and none are as important as the land deal.
New York Times Editorial, March 17, 2010
Extend U.S. Sugar Deal Deadline
…the deal’s biggest selling point is its huge value in taking so much land out of sugar production and putting it in the public’s hands forever. Such a chance might never come again.
Putting the brakes on the U.S. Sugar acquisition would cast a pall over the newfound, justified optimism that one day the Everglades will again be a true “River of Grass.”
Miami Herald Editorial, March 11, 2010
U.S. Sugar Land Deal Worth Keeping Alive
…the move is a historic opportunity to return the natural water flow to South Florida.
…taking control of land south of Lake Okeechobee appears to be a better strategy for holding and cleaning the southward water flow than a highly engineered network of wells.
…this land purchase remains a remarkable opportunity for long-term progress if the ultimate price is fair and the public finances work.
St. Pete Times Editorial, March 12, 2010
Proceed Carefully with Glades
…does offer a rare opportunity to undertake a far more effective restoration effort than would be possible otherwise.
The project will create thousands of construction jobs, help clean Florida Bay, provide an adequate water supply for South Florida and save the Everglades. All are worthy goals.
Tampa Tribune Editorial, March 10, 2010
Here’s what we are saying:
When It Comes to Cleaning Up the Everglades, Don’t Mess Up a Good Deal For Taxpayers
Save Tax Dollars
The current proposal by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to buy 73,000 acres will save taxpayers money in the long run. It will reduce the need for numerous “micro” projects and avoid potential condemnation takings, which will cost taxpayers millions more than the current deal.
No New Taxes
The current SFWMD proposal buys the land at near rock-bottom prices and has an opt-out clause if current funding sources will not fund the purchase. In short, taxes will not be raised to make this purchase.
More Effective Glades Cleanup
Large land purchase and use of broad swaths of land will be a far more effective solution than scattered projects.
Supported By Independent Groups
In addition to numerous news outlets, including the New York Times, St. Pete Times, Miami Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, this proposal is strongly supported by virtually every consumer, citizens and environmental organization in the state.
Clean Water For South Florida
The only serious way to scrub ground water is via large tracts of land, and this proposal does just that. As a result, it will help heal the River of Grass and provide clean water for South Florida for generations to come.
A Jobs Generator
This purchase will help move forward thousands of construction jobs almost immediately and will preserve our tourist economy in the Glades and in the Keys for generations to come.
No Wonder It’s Being Called
“A Remarkable Opportunity”
“A Historic Opportunity”
“A Rare Opportunity”
“A Good Deal For the Everglades”
For more information on the benefits of the monumental River of Grass acquisition, view Audubon of Florida’s fact sheet “River of Grass Land Acquisition: Securing Florida’s Future for People and Nature.”