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"Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) has shown true leadership for Florida's coastal communities and the Everglades by filing Senate Bill 10 today. The tragedies facing Florida's coastal estuaries in 2016 were devastating to local economies and the environment. Floridians are hungry for this type of bold action to save Florida’s Everglades," said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida's executive director. "After hearing from experts about water storage solutions, Sen. Bradley's actions show that a 'wait and see' approach for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee is not acceptable. Audubon looks forward to working with the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to pass SB10."
This bill makes funds available to acquire land from willing sellers in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). If willing sellers are not found before the end of this year, the remaining option from a previous land deal between U.S. Sugar and South Florida Water Management District must be executed. The land purchased will mark the site of the EAA Reservoir project, which has been an element of the Everglades restoration since 2000 and is a top priority for Audubon. Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart) announced in August that buying land for the EAA Reservoir and speeding up work on the project would be one of his top 2017 legislative priorities. For more details, read Audubon Florida's fact sheet on the EAA Reservoir and Senator Negron proposal.