Florida Forever bill could impact Lake O reservoir plan

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill that looks to “un-muddy” the mission of the state’s main environmental land acquisition program could potentially impact the proposed plan for an Everglades reservoir.

Republican Rep. Matt Caldwell’s bill was passed unanimously by a House panel on Monday. Caldwell wants to alter what projects are eligible for money under the Florida Forever Program and put more money on land conservation. But the measure would also remove funding allocations for acquisitions identified on water management districts’ priority lists.

Audubon Florida executive director Eric Draper the proposal could potentially make it more difficult for water management districts to fund projects through bonding.

This could hinder Senate President Joe Negron’s plan to build a $1.2 billion reservoir system south of Lake Okeechobee to curb toxic algal bloom from coastal communities.

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