Published: Nov 30, 2011 7:17 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Former Gov. Bob Graham and Florida environmentalists are forming a new bipartisan coalition aimed at restoring water resource funding and protection.
    
They also on Wednesday challenged Gov. Rick Scott to help them although he advocated the cutbacks they want to restore.
    
Republican conservationist Nat Reed and GOP state Sen. Paula Dockery joined Graham, also a former U.S. senator and a Democrat, to announce formation of the Florida Conservation Coalition.
    
They held a news conference in the Capitol courtyard in Tallahassee.
    
Graham says he was encouraged that Scott, a Republican, recently announced he would make Everglades restoration a priority.
    
Reed says the group plans to "raise holy cane" to restore cutbacks the GOP-controlled Legislature made this year.
    
That includes spending cuts for water management, environmental land-buying and Everglades restoration.

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