For the 17th year, regional water managers say the sugar industry beat the state target for cutting pollution damaging the Everglades.
The amount of phosphorus flowing from the 470,000-acre are south of Lake Okeechobee was down 71 percent compared to1994, nearly three times the reduction called for in the Everglades Forever Act. The average reduction has been 55 percent.
Judy Sanchez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Sugar said that water flowing to the Everglades is “significantly cleaner today’’ as a result of efforts by farmers and the South Florida Water Management District.
But it’s still not clean enough to meet the tough standards set for the sensitive Everglades, which focus on the concentration of phosphorus in the water. The state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year agreed to an $800 million expansion of a network of clean-up marshes.