Editorial: Everglades has a place in the budget
The state budget cuts are taking their toll on many programs. Among those is the restoration of the Everglades.
This project requires $100 million from the state per year. The money may not be there next year, and the property is not getting cheaper.
The state, in order to protect and rebuild the animal sanctuary, should issue bonds to raise the money for the project quicker.
The Everglades is in a pinch. The land that butts up to it is becoming more expensive and more attractive to developers. This is making it difficult to afford the restoration project slated for the next three decades.
Funding comes from the state, the nation and the South Florida Water Management District. The budget cuts are causing the state to come up short on their end of the deal.
The project aims to restore the land and make a 250,000-acre reservoir that supplies drinking water to farms and cities.
Budget cuts have already taken money from the schools, health care and other services. All of these projects can recover in time. However, not protecting the Everglades, draining and developing it, is irreversible.
Eric Draper, Florida Audubon Society’s policy director, said bonds would save money by ensuring a steady income so land that appreciates in value could be purchased quickly.
Though the number of bonds is limited, using some of them would help quicken the purchase of the land before the price rises too high.
Issuing bonds to raise the money for the Everglades restoration can help complete the project quicker and cheaper.
The wild animal refuge will gain new life and provide drinking water for farms and cities, making this a substantial asset to Florida.