An alligator swims through the waters of Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County on Wednesday morning during a group tour that included U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., on Wednesday morning. The state is considering buying about 74,000 acres of the 91,000-acre ranch for $350 million. The purchase would allow the area to be preserved and protected by the state.

Photo by Cary Edmondson, Daily News

An alligator swims through the waters of Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County on Wednesday morning during a group tour that included U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., on Wednesday morning. The state is considering buying about 74,000 acres of the 91,000-acre ranch for $350 million. The purchase would allow the area to be preserved and protected by the state.

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