Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Florida to Restore Everglades

The nation's largest sugarcane producer, United States Sugar, agreed to sell 187,000 acres of land to the state of Florida, which plans to add the land to the Everglades Nation Park. In the proposal the state agreed to pay $1.75 for the property and United States Sugar can farm the land for six more years. Along with the land, the state would get 2 sugar refineries and 200 miles of railroad infrastructure, among other assets. Environmentalists are thrilled at the prospect of restoring the Everglades. Reestablishing the land means the return of natural water flow that would prevent wild fires and protect wildlife. It would also simply the watershed, eliminating the need for complicated plumbing.  

United State Sugar plans to shut down its operations, and while this leaves 1,900 jobs in question, the company had already been in trouble due to debt from building a new sugar mill and a lawsuit over employee retirement pay. In the end, the money from the purchase may bail out share holders. 

The money Florida plans to spend will directly improve the environment. It will also create another national park on par with Yellowstone. This is good news in the flight against global warming and our depleted earth. 

(Original reporting by The New York Times.)

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