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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama administration to announce $100 million for Everglades restoration

11

August

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.

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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)

[Last modified: Thursday, August 11, 2011 11:18am]

    

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