More good conservation news:
LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Fla., June 24 (Reuters) - The state of Florida announced on Tuesday it intends to spend $1.75 billion to buy a large chunk of Everglades land from U.S. Sugar, one of a number of sugar companies blamed for polluting the precious wildlife habitat.
U.S. Sugar Corp., one of the largest privately held U.S. agriculture firms, will abandon its Florida sugar plantations and go out of business in six years, handing over about 187,000 acres of farmland to the state's efforts to restore the Everglades, company and state officials said.
The purchase, lauded by environmentalists as the "missing link" in the restoration project, will be paid for with $50 million cash and $1.7 billion in certificates of participation, similar to bonds, that will be sold in public debt markets, the South Florida Water Management District said.
The land deal would revive an effort to turn sugar cane fields back into marshes and waterways that would help cleanse polluted Everglades water and carry it from Lake Okeechobee to the southern reaches of the Everglades and Florida Bay.
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