WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he's providing $250 million in funding for Florida's struggling ports, including more than $4 million for the Port of Palm Beach and in excess of $800,000 for the Port of Fort Pierce.
DeSantis announced the additional funding in an effort to assist the state's ports recover from a loss of revenue in 2020, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, and to invest in infrastructure.
"Not only are Florida ports a key economic driver for their surrounding communities, but also for our state as a whole," DeSantis said. "From the cruise industry to cargo to supporting military operations, our ports provide nearly 1 million jobs for Floridians. This $250 million investment in our ports is a commitment to our future economic prosperity for generations to come."
According to the governor's office, Florida ports have an economic impact of $117.6 billion and support about 900,000 jobs.
The money earmarked for the ports is a mix of federal and state COVID-19 relief funds.
|Port Tampa Bay||$20,120,889|
|Jacksonville Port Authority||$13,716,224|
|Port of Key West||$5,018,855|
|Port of Palm Beach||$4,050,839|
|Port of Fernandina||$806,772|
|Port of Fort Pierce||$806,772|
|Port of Panama City||$806,772|
|Port of Pensacola||$806,772|
|Port of St. Joe||$806,772|
|Port of St. Pete||$806,772|
Port Canaveral is tapped to receive more than $72 million of the total funds -- the largest sum allotted to an individual Florida port.
South Florida's three ports combined are set to receive more than $129 million of the total funds.
PortMiami will receive more than $66 million -- the second-most in the state -- while Broward County's Port Everglades will fetch the third-most with more than $58 million.
The Port of Palm Beach will receive more than $4 million.
DeSantis also set aside more than $800,000 for the smaller ports, including the Port of Fort Pierce.
As cruise lines begin to resume operations, many continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines, which are at odds with DeSantis' executive order forbidding vaccine passports as a condition for travel.
The state recently won a legal battle with the CDC challenging its authority over the cruise industry.