Protestors rally against building a power plant in Everglades

By: Hollie Hojek

To see video, click here: WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral


We spoke to key players about controversial plans to build a power plant in the Everglades. A rally was held outside the Hendry County courthouse.

Seminole tribe members and environmentalists were inside the courthouse trying to put a stop to potential plans of Florida Power and Light building a plant in the Everglades.

The county says it’s made up it’s mind. Now it’s up to the court to decide.

Many walked the streets to try and stop a potential power plane project in it’s tracks.

“There are a lot of people here and it’s only going to grow. This power plant doesn’t have a chance,” said Rachel Kijewski with Everglades Earth First.

The Seminole tribe of Florida is taking Hendry County to court; claiming the county illegally rezoned 3,000 acres of land just north of the Big Cypress Reservation.

Shortly after the county rezoned the property in 2011, Florida Power and Light bought it.

“There was no preferential treatment. This was treated like any other application,” said Karson Turner, Hendry County board chairman.

We spoke to the electric company who says there are no set plans in place.

But protestors called them out on Tuesday.

“They just don’t see it because they are blinded by the dollar sign,” said protestor Danny Billie.

The tribe says if the power plant is built in the Everglades it will destroy wildlife, artifacts and their children’s future.

“A lot of people don’t understand that this is only one world that we live in. So wherever the damage is done, it affects everybody,” said Billie.

The tribe tried to appeal the rezoning of the property twice. Now, the tribe is taking the county to court.

“This is only the beginning,” said Kijewski.

“From there, the board of county commissioners is going to let the courts decide,” said Turner, “I think this is going to be a great project. I think its going to reasonably help our area.”

The court date was schedule for yesterday, but has been postponed to July.

The tribe says it will use the extra few months to gain support to try and save the land.