MIAMI HERALD: Last-minute state deal with sugar growers sets up potential political fight

Miami Herald: Written by Jenny Staletovich. November 9, 2018.

South Florida water managers on Thursday hastily agreed to let sugar farmers continue leasing land targeted for an Everglades restoration reservoir, angering environmentalists and potentially setting up a power play with the state’s would-be new governor.

In a series of morning tweets, Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg claimed “the public deception is underway” as a South Florida Water Management District government board meeting started in Miami. Eikenberg accused officials of trying to derail the project by tying up the land for two more years and failing to give adequate notice for the decision.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast echoed those concerns during public comment, saying Ron DeSantis, the Republican who has railed against the sugar industry and maintains a narrow lead in a state governor race facing a recount, asked him to deliver a message: Postpone the vote.

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