Today the Governor and Cabinet agreed to purchase a 2,525-acre conservation easement on the Corona Ranch in Okeechobee County. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services put the deal together with help from the Florida Conservation Group. Funds came from the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which has now conserved more than 38,000 acres of ranch and timber lands.
The Corona Ranch plays a critical role in our efforts to protect the Lake Okeechobee Watershed and the drinking water for millions of people in urbanized areas. Located less than a mile from the Kissimmee River, the ranch contains significant wetlands that are crucial to Kissimmee river restoration efforts. The landowners are voluntarily restoring these valuable wetlands.
Audubon Florida's Eric Draper attended the Cabinet meeting in support of the project along with Jim Strickland of the Florida Cattlemen's Association. "Allowing ranch lands to hold and store water is an important, cost-effective tool in Everglades restoration efforts," Draper said. "This easement also benefits South Florida by storing water that otherwise would flow into Lake Okeechobee."
October 17, 2017