Florida Panhandle at Risk; Court Orders Stop to Construction Projects for Now
November 11, 2005
The Florida Panhandle is a land of untouched forests, wetlands, swamps, and beachfront, and is home to many of the state’s most sensitive animals, including the bald eagle, manatee, and Florida black bear. For years, local Sierra Club activists have been working to protect the picturesque region, and have fought against countless development projects that would destroy these last undeveloped places in the state. Regrettably, the St. Joe Company prefers to see the area as a land of economic opportunity rather than as a natural treasure, and has plans for a series of poorly planned construction projects that would affect over 48,000 acres and would include housing, industrial facilities, and even a new airport. Earlier this year, the Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the projects, claiming they would have few environmental impacts, even though they would harm three separate watersheds and would fill 20 percent of the wetlands in the area. Local activists disagreed with the faulty reasoning, and Sierra Club filed suit to challenge the permit. At the beginning of November we had an early victory when the judge in the case decided to stop the construction projects until after a final decision is reached. The next hearing is scheduled for February 16, 2006.
Details and Documents:
St. Joe Panhandle project held up by federal court
November 22, 2005, Jacksonville Business News
Judge temporarily halts St. Joe development in Panhandle
November 15, 2005, by the Associated Press, Tallahassee Democrat
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.