CCW Petitions Big Sugar Over Everglades Restoration

Captains For Clean Water (CCW), a non-profit organized by fishing guides, is petitioning Big Sugar to drop its lawsuit seeking access to irrigation water from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir.

The EEA reservoir, which is currently under construction, is the centerpiece of Everglades restoration projects designed to provide relief from devastating Lake Okeechobee discharges and restore the flow of freshwater south, as nature intended, through the Everglades to Florida Bay.

Big Sugar, made up of sugar producers United States Sugar Corporation, Okeelanta Corporation (Florida Crystals) and The Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, claims farming interests in South Florida were promised water access by the federal government. Last year a federal judge threw out the case brought by Big Sugar, and this recent lawsuit is in the appeals process, with no projected timeline.

Explanation of the CCW petition reads: “If Big Sugar wins, they could push to use the EAA Reservoir as their personal taxpayer-funded water supply, upending years of restoration progress and sealing the fate of Florida’s future to include more damaging discharges, more toxic algae blooms, and more economic and environmental peril. It could also set a dangerous precedent, forcing Everglades Restoration projects to prioritize Big Sugar’s interests and replace their historical water supply over benefits to South Florida’s waters—regardless of how and when Sugar lost water supply since December 2000.”

To see more or to sign the petition, go to

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