The harsh review of the federal effort known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, or CERP, comes in the midst of what could be a major shake-up. Florida is negotiating a proposed $1.75 billion purchase of nearly 300 square miles of farmland from the United States Sugar Corporation to add storage space for millions of gallons of water south of Lake Okeechobee.
The plan, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, was praised by the National Research Council. But with the acquisition’s impact at least a decade away, the report’s authors concluded that it would not be a panacea.
“The bottom line,” said Mr. Graf, a professor of geology at the University of South Carolina, “is I don’t think we can wait and see what happens.” MORE>>>
The ramifications and double-dealing are beginning to become more apparent.
SFWMD folks are already talking about leasing the majority of the 187,000 acres back to be used for active farming and the Sierra Club lawyers, whose successful lawsuit to stop U.S. Sugar from dumping its dirty water into Lake Okeechobee triggered the conditions for this deal, are saying over their dead bodies.