When it was announced last June, most onlookers lavished praise on Florida Governor Charlie Crist's proposal to have the state buy back 180,000 acres of the Everglades from U.S. Sugar and try to restore the water flow in the wetlands. (This isn't just a save-the-sea-turtle issue, either—the Everglades, which have been badly damaged by flood-control projects and agricultural runoff over the years, are crucial to the water supply in South Florida.) But now the plan may end up as another casualty of the economy, as Crist is whittling down the proposal to just 72,500 acres, with an option to buy more in 2019. At this point, no one seems sure whether that'll even be enough to carry out a proper restoration (see below)—or whether the proposal may get pared back yet again.

--Bradford Plumer