Florida will buy out sugar company to restore Everglades
Nearly 300 square miles of sugar plantation in the Everglades will once again become marsh, as Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday that the state will buy the land from U.S. Sugar Corp. If all goes to plan, the $1.75 billion deal may be the largest environmental restoration in the history of the United States. Environmentalists have long lamented the sugar industry’s role in diverting and polluting the Everglades’ water supply; the River of Grass is only half the 11,000 square miles it was in the early 20th century. U.S. Sugar, which has farmed the Everglades for nearly 80 years, plans to go out of business within six years. The deal is, says Kirk Fordham of the Everglades Foundation, “an achievement of breathtaking significance and priceless value.” Sweet.