Obama administration to announce $100 million for Everglades restoration
The Obama administration will announce today that it's spending $100 million buying development rights from Central Florida ranchers and farmers to aid wetland restoration on nearly 24,000 acres in the Northern Everglades.
By purchasing the rights, the government prevents the ranchers from paving over the land — and also clears the way for restoring the wetlands that once carpeted the landscape.
Restoring the wetlands would slow the flow of nutrient pollution now pouring into Lake Okeechobee — pollution that turned a popular fishing spot into what one government official described as "a chocolate mess." The lake is 730 square miles in size but only 9 feet deep, and some of the bottom has 3 feet of nutrient-packed ooze.
This is the largest single conservation outlay the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ever made to a single state, according to USDA officials. (story here)