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Matt Gaetz: Fix Florida’s Everglades, avoid distraction of costly land buy

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As a former state legislator and now a member of Congress, I’ve been proud to support investments in protecting Florida’s natural resources, including the Everglades. While located far from the Emerald Coast, the Everglades are about as iconic in Florida as the Blue Angels, the Space Shuttle, and the orange. Everglades National Park alone welcomes 1.1 million visitors annually with an economic impact of more than $103 million. Recently, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in…

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Feds say ‘stay the course’ with Everglades, rejecting Joe Negron’s land buy

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Joe Negron’s controversial plan to reduce Lake Okeechobee discharges is not going over well with federal officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Last week, many of those involved in Everglades restoration called for Florida to stay the course on federal restoration projects; many were critical of the Senate President’s plan to build a reservoir south of Lake O. At least two of them suggested using taxpayer money to buy land is not a priority. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Negron’s…

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Water experts urge Tallahassee, Washington to ‘finish the job’ on Florida water quality, quantity

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Five dozen water quality experts have sent a letter to urge Gov. Rick Scott, as well as state and federal governments, to finish the job on Florida water that began more than 15 years ago. The letter Tuesday morning, signed by 60 Florida water policy experts, went to Scott, Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. It calls on lawmakers at both the state and federal levels to come to a “thoughtful, comprehensive solution” in fixing issues with the…

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J.P. Sasser: Environmental activists rewriting history, fraudulently manipulating data to sell land plan

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It’s incredible how foggy some people’s memories are when it comes to past efforts to restore the Everglades, buy farmland and build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Time and again, environmental extremists are quick to blame the sugar industry for every ill in the region, past, present and future, without any regard to science or the truth. And speaking of the truth and science, recently, they were caught by the South Florida Water Management District manipulating data to show…

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Joe Negron shows himself a statesman, but his land buying plan is untenable

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Sen. Joe Negron’s statesmanlike news conference demonstrated how deeply he cares about water issues. There’s no doubt his plan to buy 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee will be heralded in his hometown, but in all likelihood, the plan will be met with many roadblocks in Tallahassee. In short, the idea is politically untenable, costs too much, and is scientifically unproven. But few things have ever stopped an incoming Senate President from shooting for the stars. First, there was initial sticker shock at…

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Environmental community scores big in Florida House on Tuesday

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Everglades Foundation, Audubon Florida, the Nature Conservancy, and the H2O Coalition of the Associated Industries of Florida. What do all of these political players have in common? They scored a massive victory Tuesday all thanks to the Florida House of Representatives. A loud symphony of applause came in the form of a three-page news release where countless groups praised and thanked House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for his support and commitment toward dedicating funding to “Legacy Florida,” a measure that includes cleanup for the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, CERP and other…

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Rick Scott calls on President Obama to ‘live up to commitment’ on Everglades funding

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

President Barack Obama visits the Florida Everglades on Wednesday to mark Earth Day 2015 and raise awareness of the state’s increasing risk from climate change. In response, Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement calling on Obama and the federal government to “live up to his commitment” to the region by ending a $58 million backlog in funding for the Everglades National Park. With his first visit as president to the area, Obama expects to highlight Florida’s status as one of regions in the…

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