Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has just announced a deal with a real estate company in which the state of Florida will purchase 20,000 acres of wetlands in the Everglades. Gov. Desantis has called the purchase “largest wetland acquisition in a decade,” and went on to say that the land will be permanently protected from any future oil drilling.
The purchase came a year after the real estate company, Kanter Real Estate, won the rights to drill on their land after several judges ruled in their favor. We covered the story in February 2019.
After the court ruled in their favor, John Kanter, president of Kanter Real Estate, commented saying, “our focus has always been to conduct this project in a manner that would be highly protective of the environment.”
“We are happy that the property will be protected and remain in pristine condition for many years to come,” Kanter said in a statement emailed to CNN. “All of the stakeholders on both sides negotiated in good faith to find common interests and common ground.”
Kanter applauded DeSantis, saying the governor “stepped in and really took a leadership role and created a situation where there’s a win-win for all.”
Oil drilling has been a hot topic in Florida since the first drilling began to the northwest of Everglades National Park. In 2014, oil companies took interest in drilling sections of Big Cypress National Preserve, the first National Preserve in the US National Parks system.
This is a big win for the Everglades which have been facing growing threats from human expansion and industry. We hope to see more states take matters of environmental conservation and protection into their own hands as Florida has, in the coming years.