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DeSantis says upcoming state budget will have more than $1.5B in environmental funding

The governor says if approved, close to $3 billion will have been dedicated to environmental protection measures over the last four years.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

NAPLES, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis says he hopes to release the full proposed state budget in early December. He has until Dec. 12 to announce his state spending plan.

In the meantime, he has been going across Florida announcing key components of the proposed budget. 

In recent weeks it has included funding for education and teacher pay, law enforcement recruitment and the Freedom Tower restoration. 

On Tuesday, DeSantis visited Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. During his visit, he proposed more than $1.5 billion in funding for Everglades restoration, coastal resiliency efforts and other environmental projects.

DeSantis says the state is on target to meet and likely surpass the state's commitment of $2.5 billion toward environmental funding over the last four years. 

This upcoming proposed budget will include more than $660 million for Everglades restoration projects and $300 million for the protection of water resources.

DeSantis says the state budget will also include support money for targeted water quality improvements, $40 million for alternative water supply grants, $50 million to help restore Florida's springs. 

Additionally, DeSantis says the state will increase its monetary commitment for python removal in the Everglades. 

"We have people that come, they want to hunt these things," he said. "We've made a lot of progress, but there's a lot of these pythons there, they're not easy to find."

DeSantis also said the state would put funding behind any "new gizmos that can identify these pythons easier."

And, $35 million will go to combat harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae and red tide. $15 million will be set aside for "innovative technologies."

In total, the proposals include $960 million for Everglades restoration and other water quality projects, as well as $550 million aimed at resiliency projects for sea-level rise, storms and flooding.

Earlier this month, DeSantis announced $481 million in awards for water quality projects across Florida. This will cover more than 100 projects that will help reduce the total amount of nitrogen in Florida's waterways by more than 700,000 pounds per year, according to the governor's office. 

You can watch DeSantis' full announcement here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

   

 

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