MIAMI, Jan. 8 (UPI) — Crews in Southwest Florida have began turning a failed housing subdivision back into 55,000 acres of Everglades wetlands, officials said.
The $53 million effort in the Picayune Strand is first federally funded construction project for the Everglades restoration plan.
Crews broke ground Thursday with plans to remove 95 miles of road and to plug 14 miles worth of canals originally built as flood protection for the subdivision, which failed financially years ago and wasn’t completed.
“This is a major step,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said. “Now it’s going to spring back to life just like Mother Nature intended.”
The restoration is part of a $400 million plan to clean up environmental pollution, rehydrate wetlands and invigorate habitat in the Everglades for endangered species, such as the Florida panther.
Federal and state officials and environmentalists are to discuss future projects this weekend during the Everglades Coalition’s 25th annual conference, The Miami Herald reported Friday.
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