Gov. DeSantis recommending the state invest nearly a billion dollars in the environment

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking in Collier County alongside officials from the Department of Environmental Protection. Credit: WINK News

Gov. Ron DeSantis is upping the ante when it comes to our environment. On Tuesday, he stopped in Collier County and recommended nearly a billion dollars be spent on protecting the environment.

That money would help all aspects of the environment, including the big issues that often plague Southwest Florida like red tide, algal blooms and the problematic python population.

The governor said, “I’m proud to be able to report, not only are we on target to meet that we’re on target to far surpass that.”

DeSantis is recommending the state invest more than $960 million in the upcoming fiscal year to protect Florida’s precious resources.

“We’re going to have 35 million to combat harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae as well as red tide,” said DeSantis.

That would include technology to fight blooms and red tide research at Mote Marine Lab.

The governor said the money will also help with other environmental issues. “We’re going to up the amount of money that goes in for python removal in the everglades. We have people that come they want to hunt these things, we’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s a lot of these pythons there, they’re not easy to find.”

Looking out to the horizon, the state will also invest more than half a billion dollars for its “Resilient Florida” program to protect communities from the effects of sea-level rise and more intense storms.

Dr. Mark Rains, the chief science officer of the Department of Environmental Protection said, “we face a lot of environmental challenges here in Florida, but we are a low lying state, we’re surrounded on three sides by oceans, and so perhaps none are more pressing than sea level rise and recurrent coastal flooding, and building more resilient communities for our future.”

For the health of the environment, economy, and everyone.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton said, “just the commitment alone to the focus on the environment, understanding that our environment and our economy are inextricably linked. There is no degree of separation there.”

The budget for the governor’s proposed environmental protections will come up in the next regular legislative session which begins in January.

Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Collier County alongside Shawn Hamilton, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Dr. Mark Rains, chief science officer of the DEP.

You can watch the governor’s news conference below or by clicking here.

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