Citizen organization to fight $500 million taxpayer-funded land grab

Florida Citizens Against Waste logoAn organization formed by a group of Florida residents is opposing a proposal by environmental activists and the Everglades Foundation to purchase of tens of thousands of acres of farmland with $500 million funded by taxpayers.

The group seeks raise public awareness about the ongoing Everglades Restoration Project, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Florida Citizens Against Waste, the organization behind the effort, has launched a website, Floridians are encouraged to sign an online petition “urging the state legislature to reject the proposed land purchase.”

Miami resident Nicholas John Kakanis announced the formation of Florida Citizens Against Waste and said in the statement:

“Everglades restoration and protection are high priorities for all Floridians. Taxpayers, farmers, businesses and water managers have devoted more than two decades and $10 billion in a cooperative and massive effort to restore a precious resource, and that effort is working. Court mandated Everglades water quality tests today surpasses federal standards, and the experts have a science-based plan to complete the restoration project. Gov. Rick Scott recently provided $900 million more to finish the effort.

“Unfortunately, environmental and political special interests are now trying to convince the legislature to divert $500 million to purchase land south of Lake Okeechobee — a land grab that is not part of the restoration plan, has no science behind it, and that will only add to the government’s already ample real estate portfolio. This land would have little or no impact on Everglades Restoration.

“We all want Everglades restoration to succeed, and we have all contributed to the effort. Disrupting the restoration project at this late stage with an extremely costly and counterproductive land grab simply doesn’t make sense, and will leave Florida taxpayers holding the bag for a reservoir we don’t need and potentially billions in future costs.

“Floridians deserve to know the truth about this land grab, and once they do know the truth, we are confident they will let their legislators know that the state needs to spend our tax dollars finishing the real work of Everglades restoration – not buying more real estate.”

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