National Parks Group Submits Win-Win Alternative to Protect Everglades National Park from Transmission Lines

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 13, 2012
Contact:   Dawn Shirreffs, Everglades Restoration Program Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P: 954.961.1280 ext. 402; C: 305.546.6689
Alison Zemanski Heis, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762


National Parks Group Submits Win-Win Alternative to Protect Everglades National Park from Transmission Lines

Statement by Dawn Shirreffs, Everglades Restoration Program Manager

“We are pleased to have worked in close partnership with state, federal and county agencies, including representatives from Everglades National Park, South Florida Water Management District, Miami-Dade County, Florida Power and Light (FPL) and others, to develop and propose an alternative transmission line corridor that eliminates harmful impacts to critically sensitive wetlands within Everglades National Park.

“After several stakeholder meetings and collaborative discussions to identify a mutually beneficial and technically feasible solution, together we were able to identify a win-win solution that maximizes the use of state and county owned property, minimizes cost, and protects and preserves Everglades National Park.  Communication is key to moving forward and  FPL’s willingness to listen and share information about their needs has been critical to this effort.

“Last year, more than 10,000 individuals wrote to the Department of Interior opposing a proposed land deal that would place 70, 150-foot tall, high-voltage transmission lines along the park's existing boundary, which would negatively  impact more than 100 acres of habitat used by more than 200 wildlife species including the Wood Stork and Snail Kite.  We have worked so hard –investing time and money – to restore historic water flows back to the Everglades. Adding more development, including transmission lines within the east Everglades expansion area would harm decades of restoration progress.

“Now that the collaborative alternative plan has been filed, it will be reviewed by permitting agencies under the Florida Power Plant Siting Act. We urge Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet to select this minimal impact, common sense solution that protects the majesty and ecological significance of the Everglades and preserves the visitor experience, which welcomes 900,000 tourists annually that pump more than $140 million into the state’s economy, and ensures Florida’s future power supply needs are still met.”

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