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Ag Reserve land swap would be a boon to the environment.

Ag Reserve land swap would be a boon to the environment.

The 683-acre Hyder West parcel is farmland west of State Road 7 and borders the Stonebridge Country Club, top, west of Boca Raton, Florida on December 15, 2021.
The 683-acre Hyder West parcel is farmland west of State Road 7 and borders the Stonebridge Country Club, top, west of Boca Raton, Florida on December 15, 2021.

As the former Assistant Executive Director of South Florida Water Management District, my knowledge is extensive. Indian Trails Grove propertyIt would bring water resources benefits to Palm Beach County as well as the region. The property is ideally situated adjacent to the L-8, M-8 and M canals. It could play a pivotal part in water storage, quality, distribution with potential benefits for the Lake Worth Lagoon.

The benefits could be realized in partnership with South Florida Water Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Loxahatchee River Plan. The 1,600 acres could also be used to impound water and distribute cleaner water to Loxahatchee River via C-18 and M-O canals.

Ernie Barnett

Another option is to create a stand-alone project in Palm Beach County that would provide significant benefit. In particular, the County could construct a shallow impoundment on 1,600 acres. This would provide both more immediate benefits and help to supplement any benefits that the agencies may achieve later. Additionally, Lake Okeechobee discharges during high Lake Okeechobee levels could be intercepted by the County and stored on the 1,600 acre. This would reduce harmful discharges to Lake Worth Lagoon. Water could be treated on the 1,600-acres and distributed to the Grassy Waters Preserve. This would use the M canal to deliver clean water to West Palm residents and the C-18 canal to distribute cleaner water to the Loxahatchee river.

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