MIAMI NEWS TIMES: State Finally Passes Everglades Restoration Reservoir Bill After 20 Years of Fighting Big Sugar

Miami News Times: Written by Jerry Iannelli. May 3, 2017.

The idea — to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee back from sugar growers in order to let water flow freely south to the Glades after close to a century of misdirection and mismanagement — was concocted in 1996 under the administration of then-Gov. Lawton Chiles and passed by Congress in 2000. The sugar lobby, led by the megawealthy, Florida Crystals-owning Fanjul family, initially claimed it supported the plan but then fought the reservoir at almost every step for the next two decades.

But this week, a $1.5 billion, 78-billion-gallon version of the plan finally passed through both houses of the Legislature last night in a move Everglades conservationists call historic. The nonprofit Everglades Trust called the deal "the most significant victory for Everglades restoration in more than two decades."

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