The rescue of the
Florida Everglades, the largest and most expensive environmental
restoration project on the planet, is faltering.
Seven years into
what was supposed to be a four-decade, $8 billion effort to reverse
generations of destruction, federal financing has slowed to a trickle.
Projects are already years behind schedule. Thousands of acres of
wetlands and wildlife habitat continue to disappear, paved by
developers or blasted by rock miners to feed the hungry construction
The idea that the federal government could summon the
will and money to restore the subtle, sodden grandeur of the so-called
River of Grass is disappearing, too.
If, forty years ago, individuals who cared about the Everglades had banded together with private money, they could have bought up and preserved huge tracts of land around the current National Park. Instead, as so many activists do today, rather than trying to rally private action they lobbied the government to do something about it. Once the ball was thrown into the Feds' court, all incentive for private action disappeared, and as is so often the case, the Feds bungled their way $8 billion to little effect.