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Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

New islands could aid Everglades’ economy

August 3, 2008

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— New islands, rising from Lake Okeechobee like a bass fisherman's version of Atlantis, could become a tourist-attracting, economic alternative for the Florida city of Pahokee's life after U.S. Sugar.

The state's proposed $1.75 billion buyout of U.S. Sugar to further Everglades restoration threatens to leave Pahokee and other Everglades cities without a major employer. This comes at a time when lingering low lake levels have hurt marinas and other water-dependent businesses.

That has the city teaming with Palm Beach County in a renewed push to dredge channels, clearing the way for boat traffic in low water.

The material dredged from the lake bottom would be used to create proposed "eco-islands" - fishing, camping and bird-watching destinations that also provide a safety buffer for the lake's aging dike.

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