Everglades

Photo of the Tamiami Trail street sign.
Fotoluminate LLC / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Florida $60 million to help lift the Tamiami Trail.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Republican–controlled Legislature will be tasked with an unexpected job: deciding whether to allocate funds for environmental causes championed by the governor.

The environment wasn’t a priority under former Governor Rick Scott. Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, is taking a different approach - and raising eyebrows - as he seeks massive dollars to clean up the state’s water ways.

Now it's up to the Legislature to consider his funding request.

Photo of a water passage cutting through green brush in the Everglades
Erich Martin / WFSU News

 

The South Florida Water Management District says sugar farming is no longer a threat to Everglades water in its latest motion calling for an end to federal oversight of restoration, but other organizations disagree.

The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Canal (undated).
Amy Green / WMFE

 

A decade-old billion-dollar deal in which the state would have bought out the nation’s largest sugar cane producer and restored the Everglades’ historic flow is dead. The South Florida Water Management District voted quietly to terminate a remaining option of the 2008 agreement in which the state would have bought out U.S. Sugar Corp.

Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen via Flickr

Governor-elect Ron Desantis’s environmental transition team is focusing on water quality and supply. But when climate change didn’t come up in the team’s discussions, advocates for environmental protection took action.

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Florida Channel

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

Sen. Joe Negron speaks to reporters about HB 819. He's urging Gov. Rick Scott not to veto the bill.
LHatter / WFSU News

Florida senate president Joe Negron said he’s not concerned Governor Rick Scott’s budget doesn’t include money for his proposed $2.4 billion reservoir in South Florida.

Senate President Joe Negron’s $2.4 billion plan to protect South Florida waterways from another toxic-algae sliming received a Luke-warm legislative debut. Behind the scenes, the South Florida Water Management District was launching torpedoes.

Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen via Flickr

Florida water experts said the state needs to store water* and clean up polluted water sources in South Florida. But, state participants in the process continue to bicker over the way forward.

Rasmus Bøgeskov Larsen via Flickr

Free-market think tank The James Madison Institute is weighing in on Everglades restoration.  The organization wants policymakers to focus their efforts north of Lake Okeechobee.

After less than a week of sometimes angry budget negotiations, environmentalists are optimistic the Legislature will buy tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land for Everglades restoration.