BRADENTON, Fla. - In the first downgrade of a state-level credit in Florida in years, Fitch Ratings yesterday dropped the rating on the state's environmental bond programs to A-plus from AA-minus, citing the "rapidity and depth of revenue loss associated with the state's real estate correction and its impact on debt service coverage."

The downgrade affects the state Department of Environmental Protection's $2.6 billion of outstanding Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever bonds, $100 million of outstanding Florida Everglades bonds, and $60 million of outstanding Save Our Coast bonds. Fitch said the rating outlook is stable at the lower rating.

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