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Gov. Ron DeSantis seeks $960 million for water quality in next fiscal year

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 18:15:53-05

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Miami-Dade County on Tuesday to announce his budget recommendations for water quality spending in the next fiscal year.

The governor spoke at a South Florida Water Management District pump station in the western part of the county with the Everglades in the background.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Protecting Paradise

DeSantis said he will be asking legislators for more than $960 million in funding for water quality improvements, including $35 million to combat red tide and blue-green algae.

"Our ambitious goal was $2.5 billion for those items over four years. If we're able to get something similar to this enacted in the next legislative session, we actually will hit about $3 billion," DeSantis said. "That means in these four years we will have doubled the amount of money going to Everglades and water resources compared to the previous four years."

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces budget request for water quality management

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The governor said he would like the $960 million to be allocated in the following ways:

  • $660 million would be earmarked for Everglades restoration projects
  • $175 million for targeted water quality improvements
  • $50 million for continued efforts to restore Florida springs
  • $40 million for the Alternative Water Supply Grant Program
  • $35 million to combat red tide and blue-green algae, including $15 million for innovative technologies to combat red tide and toxic algae
  • $3 million for python removal

The governor also said he would like to use $550 million to build upon funding in this year's budget to increase the resiliency of Florida's coastal and inland communities. He said $500 million of these funds would be used to make communities more resilient to sea level rise, intensified storms and flooding.

DeSantis was joined by state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton for the announcement.

Over the last few weeks, the governor has been visiting different areas of the state as he announces his budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year.

During a stop in Jacksonville last week, the governor announced he is seeking $600 million to raise minimum teacher salaries.