DeSantis, Florida Sec. of DEP propose projects to restore Everglades, protect water resources in Naples, Miami

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Naples on Tuesday to hold a news conference with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s secretary and chief science officer. They later appeared in Miami with a similar pitch.

In Naples, the governor, and DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton were at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve around 9:15 a.m., where they were also joined by DEP Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains.

DeSantis and Hamilton were in Miami around 2 p.m. at the South Florida Water Management District Pump Station.

At both events, DeSantis and other state leaders made their proposals for environmental budgetary needs in the next fiscal year. For FY2022-2023, they made requests to pay for Everglades Restoration, the Protection of Water Resources, and the Resilient Florida Program.

“When I took office, I outlined a bold vision to protect Florida’s environment, and we have not only kept the promises we made, we’ve exceeded them,” said DeSantis. “We are excited to announce this historic support for Florida’s environment, Everglades restoration, and our water resources. We have seen great results so far, but we are not yet at the finish line. It’s nice to see so many coming together to support these initiatives. We will be pushing hard to continue the momentum this legislative session.”

For details and dollars, the proposals the state legislature to approve:

  • $960 million for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources including:
  • $660 million for Everglades restoration including the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the EAA Reservoir Project, and the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.
  • $175 million for targeted water quality improvements, including the wastewater grant program which provides grants to improve infrastructure in BMAP areas. 
  • $40 million for the Alternative Water Supply Grant Program.
  • $50 million for projects to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs.
  • $35 million for increased water quality monitoring and to combat harmful algal blooms including blue-green algae and red tide. This includes $15 million for innovative technologies and $5 million specifically to aid in local government red tide cleanup efforts. 
  • $3 million to remove invasive Burmese pythons.
  • $550 million to build upon historic funding in FY2021-2022 to increase the resiliency of our coastal and inland communities.
  • $500 million for the Resilient Florida Grant Program for projects to make communities more resilient to sea level rise, intensified storms, and flooding. 
  • More than $50 million to close the gap in resiliency planning and to protect our state’s coral reefs. 

“Recognizing that Florida’s economy is inextricably linked to its unique environment, Governor DeSantis continues to champion historic investments in Florida’s environment and water quality to ensure the delicate balance of environmental protection and a healthy economy is maintained,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “Under his leadership, Florida continues to make aggressive strides to expedite Everglades restoration projects, advance efforts to reduce nutrients in Florida’s waterways, and strengthen resilience for inland and coastal communities.”

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