Water-Related News

Environmentalists Oppose Airport Land Deal Near Lake Apopka

A group trying to develop an airport for business jets in northwest Orange County has proposed a land swap with a regional water agency that would lead to construction of a milelong runway near the north shore of Lake Apopka, which has begun to recover from decades of pollution to become a premier wildlife habitat.

Environmentalists staunchly oppose the land exchange, fearing it would undermine the lake's restoration and endanger more than 300 bird species that roost or forage there.

According to the offer, the West Orange Airport Authority would trade about 100 acres of farmland for several hundred acres owned by theSt. Johns River Water Management Districtsouth of Jones Avenue. The water district bought the land years ago as part of the restoration project.