¼ of the EAA’s land already in public ownership


In 1948, Historic Central & Southern Florida 
Flood Control Project set aside portions of Historic Everglades for specific uses:

  • 16% for urban development on the East

  • 37% for Water Conservation Areas (WCA) - aka reservoirs providing excess water to the South Florida metropolitan area, or flushing it into the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico 

  • 27% agricultural development 

Today, the agricultural land/EAA is only about 19% Historic Everglades. Approximately a quarter of the land originally allocated to agricultural use has been taken into public ownership. In the past two decades alone, over a hundred and twenty thousand acres of land have been sold by farmers south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration projects. But is the land being used? Unfortunately not.

  • In 1999 Talisman Sugar Corporation was pressured to sell 50,000 acres to the state for creating water storage and treatment facilities to meet Everglades restoration goals

    • A sugar mill is forced to close its doors as result, and several thousand farming jobs are lost

    • Construction of the EAA Reservoir began on the land in 2006

  • In 2008, environmentalist (anti-farmer activist) groups filed a lawsuit that derailed the EAA-A-1 reservoir 

  • In 2010, US Sugar sells 26,000 acres to the state for Everglades restoration water projects

    • 17,000 acres of this land is still un-used


the Historic Central & Southern Florida Flood Control Project designated land use map