In order to mine for phosphate, you have to restore the land or make it even better than it was. When you mine the land you can destroy animals and endangered species on it. Before 1975 mining companies could mine and when they were done just leave. They did not have to restore the land. But in 1975 Florida passed a law that asks everyone who mines to restore land in what it was before or better. This was done so that mining can go on without distructing the environment. Fixing the mined land after the mining is done is called reclamation.
The first step in reclamation is making a plan before the mining even starts. Mining companies that want to open the mine have to tell the state how they will reclaim the land after they are done. They have to record the endangered species and come up with the plan of how to protect them.For example, they can relocate them while mining is going on. They also have to tell the state about how their mine will affect the water flow and how they will make sure that the water sources are protected. Phosphate companies also have to plan how to deal with the byproducts of their operation.Reclamation is expensive, but it helps protect the environment around us.
Mining has been going on for more than 100 years in central Florida, so there is a lot of reclaimed land. You may wonder what happens with it when the mine is gone! All kinds of things.
Many of our team members live on reclaimed land. There are golf courses and shopping malls built on some reclaimed land. Other reclaimed land is returned in its natural Florida habitat.