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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 29, 2002

President's Statement on Preserving Florida's Environment

Florida is known worldwide for its beautiful coastal waters and the Everglades. Today we are acting to preserve both. Florida is also known for its strong commitment to preserving these extraordinary natural resources, and the federal government is a strong partner in those efforts.

Today, I am extremely pleased to announce two historic actions in the state of Florida that exemplify personal stewardship and conservation partnerships. The United States government will buy back the rights for natural gas and oil development in Destin Dome, and in critical parts of the Everglades.

These are important steps in preserving some of our Nation's most beautiful natural treasures, including Big Cypress National Preserve, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Today's action once again demonstrates that my Administration will take seriously the views of local communities. The federal government should continue to work closely with states and local communities in solving issues that affect energy security, the economy, and the environment.

I appreciate the good work of Secretary Norton and the staff of the Department of the Interior, Governor Bush and his team, the Collier family, and the private sector companies whose hard work has made these agreements possible. They have contributed greatly to our shared mission of sustained stewardship of these extraordinary natural areas.


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