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Latest Lake Okeechobee Stories

2008-12-16 15:16:03

The cost of a $1.34 billion Florida land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. could reach $3.4 billion once interest on loans has been figured in, a state official said. The South Florida Water Management District board was to vote on the deal that would tie in 180,000 acres of natural water flows between Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Everglades. Since the deal was first discussed last summer the state's revenue projections have dropped and a rival bidder for the land, The Lawrence Group, has...

2008-10-09 15:00:19

The tumultuous economic environment has put wrinkles in a $1.75 billion environmental purchase in Florida, officials said. The state's June proposal to purchase 187,000 South Florida acres from U.S. Sugar was viewed as a historic environmental coup with the potential to restore natural habitats from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. As credit markets have collapsed, however, the deal is viewed differently, The Miami Herald reported Thursday. In one measure of the new financial...

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2008-09-30 08:20:00

The Florida Everglades are in peril, according to a study that found a multibillion-dollar effort to restore the vast wetland is failing.  The National Research Council warned that degradation of the Everglades could become irreversible if action is slow. "The Everglades ecosystem is continuing to decline. It's our estimate that we're losing the battle to save this thing," said William Graf, the report's committee chairman and head of the department of geography at the University of...

2008-08-26 03:00:31

By Anonymous Florida Gov. Charlie Grist announced recently plans to purchase property owned by a sugar mill that could result in the restoration of the Everglades-the largest ecological restoration in U.S. history, according to some environmental groups. The state would pay U.S. Sugar $1.7 billion for 187,000 acres of land so that it can return to its natural state. Water flow would be restored between Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay. This lifeline of the Everglades has been damaged by...

2008-08-05 03:00:24

By Andy Reid, South Florida Sun-Sentinel Aug. 5--July rainfall brought an above-normal soaking, but South Florida water managers say that still wasn't enough to ease watering restrictions. The region averaged 8.63 inches of rain in July, about 2 inches above normal, according to rainfall totals released Monday by the South Florida Water Management District. That helped boost drought-strained Lake Okeechobee, the region's backup water supply, by about a foot. However, at 10.74 feet...

2008-08-02 21:00:11

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. _ New islands, rising from Lake Okeechobee like a bass fisherman's version of Atlantis, could become a tourist-attracting, economic alternative for the Florida city of Pahokee's life after U.S. Sugar. The state's proposed $1.75 billion buyout of U.S. Sugar to further Everglades restoration threatens to leave Pahokee and other Glades cities without a major employer. This comes at a time when lingering low lake levels have hurt marinas and other water-dependent...

2008-07-31 03:00:28

By Andy Reid, South Florida Sun-Sentinel Jul. 31--In the midst of the state's buyout negotiations with U.S. Sugar, a coalition of environmental groups on Wednesday called for a moratorium on development that could create new obstacles to Everglades restoration. The state by November hopes to finalize a $1.75 billion deal to buy U.S. Sugar's 187,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area and re-create the flow of water that once linked Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. In the...

2008-07-30 15:00:40

A federal judge in Miami has struck down key parts of a controversial Florida law that contained a revised schedule for cleaning up the Everglades. U.S. District Judge Alan Gold criticized the state legislature for relaxing rules limiting the amount of damaging phosphorous flowing into the Everglades from Lake Okeechobee, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday. State officials insisted the 2003 law did not relax the Everglades' water standard, but Gold called the move an adroit legislative...

2008-07-28 15:00:35

By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post, Fla. Jul. 27--Residents around Lake Okeechobee are worried about the impact of the proposed buyout of U.S. Sugar Corp. on their economies. Now there's a Web site dedicated to them: www.protectflowwayfamilies.org. Gov. Charlie Crist, South Florida Water Management District officials and U.S. Sugar Chief Executive Officer Bob Buker announced a $1.75 billion deal June 24 to buy the Clewiston-based company's 187,000 acres. The main component of...

2008-07-25 03:00:00

By Andy Reid, South Florida Sun-Sentinel Jul. 24--After another lawn-soaking, puddle-producing summer storm rolls through, familiar taunts rain down on the top forecaster for the South Florida Water Management District. "Nice drought!" neighbors tease Geoff Shaunghnessy, lead meteorologist for the agency that is imposing Water restrictions on South Florida. Above-average rainfall in June and July forces the district to dump storm water into the ocean to avoid flooding. Yet the agency...