Barley Barber swamp trial begins

(WFLX) - Earlier this year Martin County Sheriff's deputies arrested 17 people protesting Florida Power and Light's expansion of a plant near the Barley Barber swamp.

Their clam is that that FPL is draining water from the swamp, killing cypress trees and denying public access to the area. The group began their protest by camping out outside the swamp, but soon moved their protest inside the swamp area.

Stevie Lowe was among this group and actually tied herself to a cypress tree when sheriff's deputies asked them to leave. They refused, and as a result some of them were arrested and all of them were charged with trespassing. They are appearing in court Monday.

Now, in response to their allegations, FPL says they are committed to operating their facilities in harmony with the environment. They say the swamp was closed to the public as a security measure after September 11. And that last year they voluntarily started the process of reopening the swamp.