Florida plans to buy 187,000 acres of land from the nation's biggest sugar company in what both state officials and environmentalists are hailing as a landmark deal to save the Everglades, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Under the deal, which may not be finalized until November, Florida will pay $1.75 billion to acquire the land from US Sugar Corp. in six years.
The agreement is an "an achievement of breathtaking significance and priceless value," the head of the Everglades Foundation told the LA Times. Gov. Charlie Crist likened the purchase to that of Yellowstone. The deal will restore water flow from Lake Okeechobee, long seen as a pivotal step in saving the so-called "river of grass." The sugar giant will go out of business when it turns over the land.