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E-mail From Washington

From: CNN
In: Washington
Posted 6-17-97

Subject: Gore Announces New Everglades Grant

Vice President Al Gore is in Miami today where he announced a new federal-state agreement to help restore the Everglades. The federal government will provide $25 million in matching funds to Florida for acquisition of 31,000 acres of private land.

Gore in a speech this morning at the Everglades National Park called the grant a major step in protecting the environment. "Parcel by parcel, we have acquired high priority lands. They will help us both restore this pristine area and contribute to the economy of the entire region," Gore said.

The federal funds will assist the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to obtain land that were part of South Golden Gate Estates, Fakahatchee Strand and Bell Meade.

Most of the land will become Picayune State Forest in Collier County. The remainder will be divided between existing state and national preserves.

The funds will be released by the Department of Interior. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt was with the vice president and also expressed the need for restoration in the area. "These lands have a history rich in panthers and black bears, royal palms, bald cypress and rare orchids, but more recent history marred by failed land developments, hundreds of miles of dredging and bulldozing for canals and roads," Babbitt said.

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