Historic, decade-old Everglades deal dies quietly
A decade-old billion-dollar deal in which the state would have bought out the nation’s largest sugar cane producer and restored the Everglades’ historic flow is dead.
The South Florida Water Management District voted quietly to terminate a remaining option of the 2008 agreement in which the state would have bought out U.S. Sugar Corp.
Central Florida water management district board member Dan O’Keefe says the decision to terminate the deal was authorized by a 2016 legislative measure to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
The reservoir aims to prevent toxic algae blooms by restoring the Everglades’ historic flow. The decade-old deal had the same intent but it was scaled back during the recession.
The Everglades historically began in Central Florida and flowed south from the state’s largest lake. Today the region south of the lake is Florida’s agricultural heartland, and sugar is the primary crop.