Scientists Join In as Environmentalists Step Up Campaign for Everglades Land Buy

Mar 23, 2015
Originally published on March 23, 2015 3:42 pm

Scientists from across the country are calling for more water storage south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration.

The scientists sent a petition to state leaders as environmentalists intensify their campaign for the state to buy 46,000 acres in the region.

 Scientists call on state leaders to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration. The land is owned by U.S. Sugar. A state option on the land expires in October. Environmentalists want the land for a reservoir.

Tom Van Lent of the Everglades Foundation was among the scientists who sent the petition. He says the reservoir would help conserve water, and additional wetlands would cleanse it.

"That's not a new concept at all", Van Lent said. "That's been in virtually every National Academy of Sciences report to Congress in the last 10 years."

But U.S. Sugar says the land is unsuitable for a reservoir.

The scientists sent the petition to Senate President Andy Gardiner, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Dan O'Keefe, chairman of the South Florida Water Management District.

Additional funding would be needed to build the reservoir.

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