Governor DeSantis’ Florida Leads Budget Sustains Historic Levels of Environmental Funding
~Budget highlights include continued funding of $625 million for Everglades restoration and water quality protections and increased investment of $180 million for addressing resiliency of coastal communities~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis released his Florida Leads budget, which continues historic levels of funding for Florida’s environment.
“Thanks to the Governor’s bold vision, even as the nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s economic recovery and environmental priorities have remained strong. As a result of his continued commitment and Florida’s robust economy, the Florida Leads budget builds on the historic funding levels for environment protection of the previous two years,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “This critical funding will allow us to continue to expedite Everglades restoration, improve water quality, conserve and manage state lands and advance coastal resiliency in vulnerable communities. It will enhance the state’s steadfast dedication to improve the health of Florida’s environment and ensure that our natural resources are a legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
On Governor DeSantis’ second full day in office, he issued Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. The Governor also called for $2.5 billion to be invested over the next four years, which is $1 billion more than was invested in the previous four years.
To meet this pledge, the Florida Leads budget includes continued funding of more than $625 million for water quality improvements, springs restoration, alternative water supply and Everglades restoration projects. This dedicated funding will ensure our ability to strategically plan and best manage our resources.
Florida Leads budget addresses the challenges of sea level rise, intensified storm events, and localized flooding by establishing the Resilient Florida program. The Resilient Florida program will provide $1 billion over four years to provide grants to state and local government entities to fund projects to address the impacts of sea level rise, intensified storms and localized flooding.
Budget highlights include:
- More than $469 million for Everglades Restoration
- $145 million for Targeted Water Quality Improvements, including:
- $100 million for cost-share grant funds for water quality improvements, including septic conversions and upgrades, other wastewater improvements, and rural and urban stormwater system upgrades
- $45 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals (called Total Maximum Daily Loads), which may include green infrastructure investments or land conservation to protect our water resources
- $180 million for the new Resilient Florida program ($1 billion over four years)
- $165.7 million to fund projects to adapt regionally significant assets to address the impacts of sea level rise, intensified storms and localized flooding
- $12.1 million to provide grants to local governments in order to close the gap for statewide sea level rise/vulnerability assessments
- $1.7 million and 15 positions (FTE) for program operations
- $50 million for Springs Restoration
- $40 million for Alternative Water Supply
- $20.8 million for Innovative Technologies that address harmful algal blooms; increased water quality monitoring; and support for the Blue-Green Algae Task Force and the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency
- $82 million for Florida Forever and Florida State Parks ($50M for Florida Forever and $32M for Parks).
$50 million for Beach Restoration