FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 18, 2012
DEP SECURES CONSERVATION EASEMENT OVER SEVEN RUNS CREEK
~Final land acquisition from the $10 million secured under the MOEX consent decree~
State of Florida has acquired conservation land over Seven Runs Creek in Walton County as part of a recently announced $10 million settlement with MOEX, a
company invested in the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
After acquiring Escribano Point on Dec. 7, the remaining portion of
the $5 million land acquisition funds allocated under the MOEX settlement was
used to purchase a conservation easement over Seven Runs Creek, which is a part of the Florida
Forever project in Walton County. The closing was Friday.
Governor Scott said, “This $5 million investment will
benefit Florida’s groundwater resources in Walton County and also support the
region’s surface water quality and wildlife. These dollars will support our
mission of protecting and restoring Florida’s natural resources, so that
Florida families who depend on these treasures can enjoy them for generations
With the assistance of The Trust for Public Land, the Board
of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund received the conservation
easement that comprises more than 2,336 acres of Seven Runs Creek, which is
owned by the M.C. Davis Trust. The conservation easement will be managed by
the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands.
“We are pleased to announce another important land
transaction as part of this settlement that helps protect Florida’s
environment.” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “A conservation easement on Seven Runs Creek
fulfills our mission to buffer military installations and provides a host of
environmental benefits to the Florida Panhandle.”
The settlement includes not only $5 million in land acquisitions, but also $5 million in stormwater retrofit projects throughout Bay, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will oversee the expenditure of that money.
The acquisition of the property has many benefits to the
state. Part of the project is considered to be a groundwater recharge area, since
it has been mapped by the Northwest Florida Water Management District as a
groundwater rich area. The project also includes a number of seepage streams
that are considered pristine waterbodies that feed directly and indirectly into
a Surface Water Improvement Management area and Outstanding Florida Waters of
the Choctawhatchee River. Finally, this property will help to provide an
environmentally protected connection, in perpetuity, between Eglin Air Force
base and the Choctawhatchee River Water Management Area.
“Conservation of this Seven Runs Creek property advances
Florida's Gulf Coast restoration initiatives and permanently protects a beautiful
natural area for the public to enjoy," said Chris Kay, Chief Operating
Officer for The Trust for Public Land. "The Trust for Public Land is proud
to continue its partnership with the State of Florida to be responsive to
Florida's conservation, restoration and clean water priorities."
MOEX Offshore was a 10-percent non-operating investor in the
lease on the Macondo well at the time of the Deepwater Horizon spill and is the first entity to resolve civil
penalty claims. This recovery does not affect
any outstanding claims the State may have against any other responsible party,
directly related to Florida’s response and restoration activities relating to
the Deepwater Horizon spill visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/default.htm.