|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||June 24, 2008|
|Contact:||John Adornato, Regional Director,
National Parks Conservation Association,
Shannon Andrea, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3371
Parks Group Applauds State Deal to Purchase Farmland to Restore America's Everglades
Statement by NPCA Regional Director John Adornato
"Today's announcement by Governor Crist to purchase approximately 185,000 acres of the Everglades agricultural area is terrific news for the future of Everglades restoration. Securing farmland south of Lake Okeechobee will help improve water quantity and quality, and increase water flow to Everglades National Park and out into Florida Bay.
We now have the ability to make better decisions about what needs to be done to restore our historic River of Grass. We envision this will lead to increased capacity for cleaning polluted water, storing excess rainwater, and recreating the historic timing of water delivery from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. Additional storage will alleviate drought concerns about removing levees and elevating Tamiami Trail.
As the state of Florida continues to lead the way on Everglades restoration, we need federal support and funding to revitalize the plan that will restore the health and natural sheetflow of America's Everglades. Our federally elected officials must stay focused on those basic principles originally outlined to restore the Everglades and provide the necessary funding to support ongoing restoration activities.
Restoring the health of the Everglades is not only vital to our environment, but our economy and quality of life here in South Florida. We must leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren by saving one of the great special places in the world-America's Everglades."