Desantis Allocates $850 Million for Everglades Restoration and Water Quality

Desantis Allocates $850 Million for Everglades Restoration and Water Quality

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Monday an additional $1.5 billion to restore the Everglades and enhance water quality in fiscal year 2024-25.

Approximately $850 million will be spent on Everglades restoration, including $614 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir.

DeSantis stated that Everglades projects and other natural resources had been consistently neglected since his election as governor in 2019. “We needed a jolt to move forward, we needed to do something,” DeSantis said in a statement. “So we set out a very ambitious agenda to be able to tackle these challenges, and not just with Everglades, but with water quality more broadly in the state.”

“That more than doubled what had been done in the previous four years,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Restoring the state’s plumbing to its original design involves a significant amount of effort, as Rome was not created overnight.”These are ambitious projects.”

At the start of DeSantis’ second term in 2023, the governor and the Legislature committed an additional $2.5 billion over the next four years, bringing the total to $3.5 billion. In the current fiscal year, $1.7 billion has been allocated to water quality and Everglades projects.

Since 2019, Florida has invested $6.5 billion in environmental preservation, restoration, water quality, and infrastructure projects. Planned projects might also begin construction up to a year ahead of plan.

“If you look at the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades…in 2018, and compare that to now, there has been a huge difference,” DeSantis said in an interview. “The amount of water that is flowing south through the Everglades…this has been really meaningful.”

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton congratulated DeSantis for keeping his commitment to protect Florida’s most valuable assets.

“With record investments since 2019, Florida has ushered in a new era of stewardship for Florida’s natural resources, especially for America’s Everglades,” he stated.

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