Everglades National Park is one of Cold Splinters’ favorite places on Earth and yesterday was a historic day for the park. The nation’s largest sugarcane producer agreed to sell all of its assets to the state and go out of business. Florida will pay $1.75 billion for United States Sugar, which will turn over 187,000 acres north of Everglades National Park in the next six years.
Governor Charlie Crist announced, “I can envision no better gift to the Everglades, the people of Florida and the people of America — as well as our planet — than to place in public ownership this missing link that represents the key to true restoration.” Crist also called the deal “as monumental as the creation of the nation’s first national park, Yellowstone.”
The New York Times says, “The impact on the Everglades could be substantial. The natural flow of water would be restored, and the expanse of about 292 square miles would add about a million acre-feet of water storage. That amount of water — enough to fill about 500,000 Olympic size swimming pools — could soak the southern Everglades during the dry season, protecting wildlife, preventing fires, and allowing for a redrawing of the $8 billion Everglades restoration plan approved in 2000.”