The state of Florida is purchasing more than 20,000 acres of wetlands in the Everglades in order to protect it from oil drilling.

By: Good News Network –
Jan 20, 2020

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reached an agreement that will allow for the purchase of 20,000 acres of critical wetlands in Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA 3) within the Everglades Protection Area located in Broward County for $16.5 million.

According to the Republican governor, this acquisition will represent the largest wetland acquisition in a decade.

“One of my administration’s top environmental priorities has been expediting Everglades restoration,” said Governor DeSantis. “Today we take another step in the right direction by reaching this agreement between DEP and Kanter Real Estate that will allow for the purchase of 20,000 acres of critical wetlands.

“This significant purchase will permanently save these lands from oil drilling,” he added. “I’m proud of our progress, but also recognize this is just the beginning. I will continue to fight every day for the Everglades and Florida’s environment.”

The property, which is located in the heart of the Everglades in WCA 3, is part of the Everglades Protection Area—one of the most important wetland systems in the Everglades ecosystem.

With this acquisition, there will be nearly 600,000 acres of wetlands in WCA 3 that will be permanently protected in public ownership for restoration and recreation.

“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, 2020 is already starting out as a banner year for Everglades restoration,” said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. “These wetlands are critical to the health of the Everglades and now we can guarantee that there will be no oil and gas drilling on 20,000 acres in the heart of the Everglades.”

The Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg added: “We applaud Governor DeSantis for his swift action in protecting these lands. This is yet another demonstration of his commitment to restoring America’s Everglades and ensuring that we achieve more now for Florida’s environment.

“We also stand in strong support of the Governor’s request for sustained funding at the $625 million level annually for the Everglades, springs, and clean water. Recurring funding is critical to expediting and completing key Everglades restoration projects like the Everglades reservoir that will send an average of 120 billion gallons of clean freshwater south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, reducing unwanted discharges to the East and West coasts.”

Reprinted from Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Press Office