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Everglades

Interior Secretary heading to South Florida

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U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be in South Florida this week reviewing damage from Hurricane Irma and getting a briefing about Everglades restoration efforts, according to his office.

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Rick Scott signs SB 10, the Lake Okeechobee restoration plan, into law

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Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Tuesday pledging $800 million in bonds toward Senate President Joe Negron’s signature project — a $1.5 billion plan to restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades by building a reservoir south of the lake. Scott had signaled his intention to sign the legislation earlier in the week, calling Everglades restoration “a top priority.” SB 10 did not include Scott’s call to invest $200 million in the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding the lake. Still, the governor said…

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Bob Martinez, Dominic Calabro: The time is now to address the Everglades crisis

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Florida’s Everglades is an American iconic national park known and revered throughout the world for its biodiversity. Floridians, regardless where they live, must join together to protect and restore this treasure before the Everglades reaches a point of no return. The Everglades is home to thousands of plant and animal species and draws millions of visitors to Florida. Unfortunately, decades of massive changes to the habitat’s water flow have resulted in unintended consequences that threaten Florida’s environment, residents and economy.…

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Florida Forever bill could affect Everglades reservoir plan

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A bill that looks to “un-muddy” the mission of Florida’s main environmental land acquisition program could potentially affect the plan for an Everglades reservoir. A House bill brought forth Monday by Rep. Matt Caldwell, a Republican with close ties to House leadership, was passed unanimously by a House panel. Caldwell wants to alter what projects are eligible for money under the Florida Forever Program and put more money into land conservation. But the measure would also remove funding allocations for…

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Lionfish tagging, hunting pythons, designating reefs: bills pass House committee

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If anyone has ever tried to insert a passive integration transponder tag into a lionfish, they may have an idea of how seriously the Florida House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee is viewing control of invasive species. Under House Bill 587, lionfish become one of three invasive species animals, along with python snakes and tegu lizards, the state would seek to better control through a pilot project that includes state-sponsored hunting and fishing, and the requirement that pet shop owners…

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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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