Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reached an agreement with Kanter Real Estate LLC., that will allow for the purchase of 20,000 acres of critical wetlands in Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA 3) within the Everglades Protection Area located in Broward County. This acquisition would represent the largest wetland acquisition in a decade.
“One of my administration’s top environmental priorities has been expediting Everglades restoration,” said Governor DeSantis. “Today we take another step in the right direction by reaching this agreement between DEP and Kanter Real Estate that will allow for the purchase of 20,000 acres of critical wetlands. This significant purchase will permanently save these lands from oil drilling. I’m proud of our progress but also recognize this is just the beginning. I will continue to fight every day for the Everglades and Florida’s environment.”
The Kanter property is in the heart of the Everglades in WCA 3, which is part of the Everglades Protection Area – one of the most important wetland systems in the Everglades ecosystem. With this acquisition, there would be nearly 600,000 acres of wetlands in WCA 3 that would be permanently protected in public ownership for restoration and recreation.
“This acquisition will help ensure that the largest contiguous wetland in the state remains in a more natural state for future generations,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Having these wetlands in public ownership supports expedited restoration work on the EAA Reservoir and other critical Everglades projects, provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors and protects the wildlife habitat of more 60 endangered and threatened species.”
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, 2020 is already starting out as a banner year for Everglades restoration,” said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. “These wetlands are critical to the health of the Everglades and now we can guarantee that there will be no oil and gas drilling on 20,000 acres in the heart of the Everglades.”