Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Biscayne National Park and the South Florida Water Management District have teamed up in a creative partnership to transfer more than 300 acres of wetlands from FPL to the park and the South Florida Water Management District. The land is located in Miami-Dade County, Fla., north of FPL's Turkey Point power plants. The celebration marking the transfer will take place on Friday, Feb. 17 at Biscayne National Park.
"The preservation of this land serves the goals of the company, its customers and the citizens of Florida," said Randy LaBauve, vice president of environmental services for FPL. "We are pleased to partner with the park and South Florida Water Management District in preserving this natural area that is truly a national treasure. It is critically important that we balance the electrical needs of our customers with the protection of our environment."
"Land transfer is a perfect example of how private industry, state and federal government are working together to make ecosystem restoration land transfers in South Florida a success," said Linda Canzanelli, former superintendent of Biscayne National Park. Canzanelli and her staff participated in the power plant expansion certification process.
The land transferred to the South Florida Water Management District is within the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project area, which is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The project will help restore wetlands and reestablish the historical creek network feeding Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, enhancing the ecological health of Biscayne National Park.
"We are committed to accelerating the construction of projects to benefit the Everglades ecosystem," said Carol Ann Wehle, executive director for the South Florida Water Management District. "Acquiring needed lands through successful partnerships such as this helps maintain our positive momentum in getting restoration projects in the ground sooner rather than later."
The land transfer from FPL to the park and the South Florida Water Management District is one aspect of a comprehensive wetlands mitigation plan developed during the licensing of a new electric power generation natural gas fired unit at the existing Turkey Point site.
The public celebration recognizing the land transfer from FPL and marking the success of ecosystem preservation and restoration will include food, music and presentations by the three partners. The event is co-sponsored by Florida Power & Light Co. and the South Florida National Park Trust.