November 10, 2016
Governing Board Promises to Keep Water Conservation Area-1 Property Open to Free Public Access and Control Invasive Plants if Continued USFWS Failures Force Termination of Loxahatchee Refuge License Agreement
West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today unanimously passed a groundbreaking Statement of Principles to protect the Loxahatchee Refuge for the public. This Statement details the Governing Board's intent for managing a critical piece of the Everglades if the continued failure of the federal government forces the SFWMD to terminate their lease on that land.
The Statement of Principles outlines how the Governing Board will manage the Water Conservation Area 1 property, where the Loxahatchee Refuge is located, for public access and ecosystem restoration if it is forced to terminate the contract that gives the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) the right to use that property. The District has owned the land for decades, but the USFWS has leased it since the early 1950s and used it as part of the Arthur Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.