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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 842-03
November 12, 2003

DoD, Florida Partner to Protect Military Ranges, Environment

            Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Philip Grone and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush today signed an agreement that will strengthen national security and protect significant natural resources in Northwest Florida.

            The Northwest Florida Greenway collaboration represents the most ambitious use to date of the congressional authority provided to the Department of Defense last year approving partnerships with states and non-profit conservation organizations to preserve habitat and reduce encroachment on military operations.  The Florida project creates 100 miles of open space stretching from the Apalachicola National Forest and waters of the Gulf of Mexico to Eglin Air Force Base. 

            During the agreement signing ceremony in Tallahassee, Grone said, “On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I want to thank Gov. Bush and the State of Florida, The Nature Conservancy and the other many partners that are willing to help craft a Northwest Florida Greenway Corridor that will benefit our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and preserve some of our country’s most unique natural areas.”

            “Florida is among the first in the nation to join forces with the Department of Defense to increase security for important military installations while at the same time protecting valuable natural resources,” said Bush.  “This groundbreaking partnership affirms Florida’s resolute commitment to the environment and our nation’s military.”

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