Florida Sugar Giant Agrees to Sell Land for Everglades Conservation

U.S. Sugar Corp., the nation’s largest supplier of sugar, has agreed to sell all its land to the state of Florida and go out of business, allowing its 187,000-acre holdings in the Everglades to become part of a massive conservation project. The 1.7 billion-dollar deal is the largest environmental land sale in state history and will take six years to go into effect, with the company farming on a lease until then. The South Florida Water Management District hopes to trade the land for holdings of other growers south of Lake Okeechobee, in order to build reservoirs and create marshes that will collect and clean water as part of the Everglades restoration effort. Said an official of the Everglades Foundation: “This has been the Holy Grail. I really wouldn’t have believed I would see this in my lifetime.”