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Gov. Ron DeSantis announces Florida spring restoration projects

'(Springs) a huge part of what makes Florida,' governor says
Gov. Ron DeSantis at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Posted at 1:19 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 16:30:21-04

WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis was at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park on Friday afternoon to discuss improving and preserving Florida's natural springs.

At the event, DeSantis presented a $3.7 million check to the park to reduce nutrients to the springs and enhance water quality management.

This money is part of the $150 million allocated in this state's last two budgets to restore Florida's springs. DeSantis said $100 million was in last year's budget and $50 million this year.

"The springs of Florida are a huge part of what makes Florida, Florida. It's an iconic part of our natural resources. We have more large springs than any other state in the country," DeSantis said.

The governor said one of his administration's top priorities has been to improve water quality in the state.

DeSantis said the $50 million will be used for more than 20 statewide springs restoration projects to "aid the recovery and provide additional protection for Florida's springs."

The state will use the funds for projects such as land acquisition, septic to sewer conversion, increase aquifer recharge and improve spring flow.

DeSantis also spoke about recovery efforts in the Panhandle related to Hurricane Sally, which hit the region earlier this week.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Gov. DeSantis speaks about restoration of Florida springs (17 minutes)

The governor said the National Guard performed more than 200 rescues this week after the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast.

He said the state is requesting a full disaster declaration from the federal government that allows more resources for recovery.

DeSantis said he was encouraged by Friday's job report that showed the state's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.4 percent.

"There's no state restriction on anybody going to work or anything," DeSantis said. "We want people to be able to be successful, earn a living, have their business be successful, and we’re going to continue working with everybody to get us back to where we need to be."

The governor was joined by his wife and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein.