Gov. DeSantis promises $3.5B in funding for Florida waterways

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Punching in on promises made years ago. Governor Ron DeSantis made the trip to Bonita Springs Tuesday to announce more money to help Florida’s water.

DeSantis spoke about the issue he promised to address during his first term in office, but there are still several issues Floridians are worried about.

There is beauty underwater in Florida. Manatees that twist and turn, there are fish to reel in, but sometimes ugly overtakes the beauty.

DeSantis came to Bonita Springs to say his mission is to build on what he started during his first term to protect one of Florida’s most natural resources.

“We made promises to do big things. And I’m happy to say that in the last four years, we’ve delivered on the promises that we made that day four years ago,” said DeSantis.

When he took office four years ago, DeSantis promised to fight for our waterways against blue-green algae and red tide and promised to work with the Army Corps of Engineers on Lake Okeechobee.

Fast forward to Tuesday, the governor doubled down. He promised to spend more money protecting Florida’s natural resources.

“Four years ago, we asked we pledged $2.5 billion over four years. This one, we’re going to pledge $3.5 billion over four years,” said DeSantis. “We signed a major, far-reaching executive order, which laid out the vision, laid out the policy, and laid out the fact that we were going to put our money where our mouth is when it came to many of these important issues. And so we said we’d fight for the waterways.”

DeSantis promised to spend the $3.5 billion during his second term on water conservation and protection in an executive order. Starting with Everglades restoration and strengthening coastal resiliency. “I think those dollars are very, very well spent.”

His supporters came to Bonita Springs to voice their appreciation.

“Thanks to this governor and this commitment today,” said Erik Eilenberg, CEO of the  Everglades Foundation. Thank you very much for this moment for making this momentous announcement you have today and showing us that you have a continued level of commitment to protect our livelihoods by leading us by leading the great state of Florida in a new direction that undoubtedly will bring on a brighter future for all.”

“For the first time in decades. This proactive and refreshing new direction has really been a godsend to the entire captains for her industry, as is Governor Ron DeSantis to the entire state of Florida. Yes, thank you. It is my heartfelt honor to stand up here today and represent many local captains who sincerely offer our collective gratitude by saying thank you, sir,” said Captain Morris, a Caloosahatchee fishing guide.

What the governor did not say is that he just can’t spend that kind of money. He must have lawmakers sign off on his plan, but with the Republicans in the supermajority, what the governor wants, he likely gets.

DeSantis spoke at Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille. He was joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton, Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks, and Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains.

You can watch his comments below or click here.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.