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NRDC blocks disastrous Everglades mining scheme! April 01, 2006 7:08 AM

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

I am thrilled to report a major victory in our long courtroom battle to block
one of the Bush administration's most dangerous attacks on the environment: a
proposed massive rock mining project in Florida's fragile Everglades.

Four years ago, the administration issued permits for the first phase of this
gargantuan scheme that would have bulldozed and dynamited 30 square miles of
the world's most famous wetland ecosystem in order to produce a billion tons of
limestone rock for use in roads and parking lots.

The resulting 80-foot deep pits -- so big they'd be visible from outer space --
would have destroyed vital Everglades habitat for a variety of rare plants and
animals, including the endangered wood stork. The pits also threatened to
poison the drinking water of millions of Miami-Dade County residents by
allowing dangerous micro-organisms to infiltrate local wells.

NRDC went to federal court and charged the Bush administration with violating
the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws. Last week, that court
ruled in our favor and delivered a stunning setback to the administration and
its mining allies.

In his ruling, the judge chastised the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for rushing
to issue the permits at the mining industry's behest, ignoring clear evidence
of environmental dangers, while misrepresenting the facts and disregarding the
law.

This is a tremendous victory for our natural heritage and it belongs in large
part to you, our online activists. Over the past few years, our BioGems
Defenders sent more than 100,000 messages to Bush administration officials
protesting their harmful mining scheme. That powerful outcry helped raise
awareness in Florida of the serious environmental risks of this project. 

I want to thank you for all of your efforts in this important campaign to save
one of America's greatest natural treasures. Together, we have sent this White
House a message loud and clear that we will not stand for the corporate-
sponsored destruction of our last wild places. And, with your help, we are
going to prevail in more battles to come.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Beinecke
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

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