Manatee County has designated 12,870 rural acres in the Peace River watershed as off-limits to any new phosphate mining proposals.
In acting Tuesday, the Manatee County Commission said it wanted to protect a drinking water supply for three other counties.
Manatee County is a member of the Peace River-Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, which operates a reservoir on the Peace River in De Soto County. It supplies drinking water to Sarasota, Charlotte, Sarasota and De Soto counties. Although Manatee doesn't rely on the river for water, commissioners said they have an obligation to help protect the resource for counties downstream.
_ Staff, wire reports