Florida saves 20K acres of Everglades wetlands from oil drilling

The deal represents the largest wetland acquisition in a decade

Florida took steps to ensure that lands currently available for oil drilling will be permanently protected in the future.

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The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, announced Wednesday the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reached an agreement to purchase 20,000 acres of wetlands – the largest wetland acquisition in a decade.

“This significant purchase will permanently save these lands from oil drilling,” DeSantis, a Republican, said in a statement. “I’m proud of our progress but also recognize this is just the beginning. I will continue to fight every day for the Everglades and Florida’s environment.”

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Through the acquisition, there will be nearly 600,000 acres of wetlands that will be permanently protected for restoration and recreation.

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Kanter Real Estate agreed to sell the lands to the state for as much as $18 million, according to the Associated Press. The Kanter family has made a name for itself in South Florida in real estate. They won authority to drill for oil on the land last year, after years of battling in court.

According to the Associated Press, there was less than a 25 percent chance of finding oil on the 20,000 acres, but if discovered, a well would likely be able to produce as much as 10 million barrels at $50 per barrel.

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