SFWMD Board OKs Purchase of Parcels to Preserve Everglades' Headwaters
The South Florida Water Management District's Governing Board approved another land purchase Thursday, this one to help preserve the Shingle Creek Management Area in Orange and Osceola counties. The area serves as the headwaters for Florida's Everglades.
The Governing Board approved the purchase of 3.61 acres from two willing sellers in Shingle Creek for $101,000.
"This Board remains steadfast in ensuring the health of the Everglades, and Shingle Creek is critical to achieving this goal," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman and Orange County resident Dan O'Keefe. "Every parcel of property we can secure helps preserve Shingle Creek, which is an important step for the Everglades and a worthy investment in the future of our environment."
The District has been purchasing land around Shingle Creek for conservation since 1991 -- originally, through the Save Our Rivers program and, subsequently, with mitigation funds -- because of the creek's unique hydrologic function and environmental value for the Everglades. SFWMD now owns nearly 2,500 acres for conservation within Shingle Creek. Another 1,100 acres is privately owned.
The Governing Board also approved an amendment to this year's budget, adding another $375,000 to acquire land from willing sellers within the Shingle Creek Management Area.
Recognized as the headwaters of Florida's Everglades, the Shingle Creek Management Area is the largest natural area in the Greater Orlando area. It is comprised primarily of hardwood swamps with some upland habitat and is home to 154 different wildlife species.
The swamp plays a critical role in providing regional flood protection and ensuring water quality. This area also offers extensive public recreation opportunities for thousands of residents and visitors each year and includes activities such as kayaking, hiking, biking, fishing and wildlife viewing.