HomeFlorida NewsGovernor Ron DeSantis approves record-breaking funding to boost Florida's environmental protection efforts

Governor Ron DeSantis approves record-breaking funding to boost Florida’s environmental protection efforts


Florida – Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a significant commitment of $1.5 billion for the Fiscal Year 2024 – 25 to support the restoration of the Everglades and improve water quality across Florida. This substantial investment is part of the state budget recently passed by the Legislature and marks a historic high, elevating Florida’s total funding for these environmental initiatives to an unprecedented $6.5 billion since DeSantis assumed office in 2019.

Historic Investment in Environmental Stewardship

Governor DeSantis expressed pride in his administration’s ongoing efforts to safeguard Florida’s natural landscapes for future generations. “I am proud to continue making these investments in Everglades restoration and water quality that will benefit our state for decades to come,” DeSantis stated. He reaffirmed his commitment to enhancing the state’s environmental condition, emphasizing that these efforts are for the future of Florida and its children.

Shawn Hamilton, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, highlighted the Governor’s consistent fulfillment of his environmental promises. He noted that these investments have heralded a new era of environmental stewardship, particularly benefiting America’s Everglades.

Dr. Wes Brooks, Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer, also praised the Governor’s leadership, crediting it with significant improvements to the state’s natural resources. “Governor DeSantis demonstrates year in and year out that leadership matters for Florida’s environment,” said Brooks. He pointed out that the strategic investments have begun to reverse decades of neglect affecting the Everglades and coastal waters, ensuring their sustainability for future Floridians.

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Allocation of Funds

Of the total $1.5 billion earmarked for the fiscal year, around $850 million is designated specifically for various Everglades restoration projects. This includes $614 million to support the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, making it the largest state investment in a single year since the inception of CERP in 2000.

An additional $100 million is allocated for the second phase of the C-51 Reservoir. This project not only meets the water needs of Palm Beach and Broward counties but also aims to mitigate freshwater discharges into the Lake Worth Lagoon.

The remaining funds, approximately $530 million, are set aside for targeted water quality improvement initiatives. This includes $135 million for the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program, which supports projects like septic-to-sewer conversions and wastewater treatment upgrades to reduce harmful nutrients in waterways. Moreover, $100 million is committed to the Indian River Lagoon and $45 million for improvements in Biscayne Bay and the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

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Additional Legislative Support

This funding complements the financial provisions of Senate Bill 1638, signed earlier this month by Governor DeSantis. This bill directs 96% of revenue from the Seminole Gaming Compact towards water quality improvement, infrastructure, and land conservation. With revenue share estimates reaching approximately $750 million per year as of February 2024, Florida is setting a benchmark in environmental funding and policy.

Through these combined efforts, the DeSantis administration aims to not only enhance the state’s natural beauty but also ensure the preservation of its vital ecosystems for generations to come.

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