Gov. DeSantis discusses Wildlife Corridor success during Naples news conference

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis discussed the successful efforts made by the Wildlife Corridor and the construction of new wildlife crossings to protect Florida’s wildlife.

During the press conference, DeSantis explained the vital importance of protecting Florida’s natural resources.

He got into how connected Florida’s economy is to its natural resources. DeSantis noted that state parks in Florida are responsible for producing $3.6 billion and support more than 50,000 jobs.

“We have almost 18 million acres of land in Florida’s Wildlife Corridor, including 10 million acres of protected conservation land,” said DeSantis.

Over 260,000 acres of conservation land have been protected since 2019, DeSantis noted during the event.

More than 90% of that land occurred inside Florida’s Wildlife Corridor, which amounts to an approximate investment worth $1.4 billion since 2019.

“We’ve been able to do infrastructure acceleration of projects through Moving Florida Forward,” said DeSantis, “and there are projects in Southwest Florida that’re going to benefit.”

The governor explained how money made from Seminole Gaming will actually go toward the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

“In future years, you’re going to have about $100 million every year from the Seminole Gaming to support the Florida Wildlife Corridor, and that’s going to be a great legacy from that compact,” said DeSantis.

The Florida Wildlife Corridor works hard to connect areas where many species, such as the endangered Florida panther, are losing their lives.

The organization also coordinates wildlife crossings that provide a safe way for animals to cross busy roads and prevent them from getting struck by a vehicle.

As of April 2024, there have been 200 wildlife crossings constructed in Florida. The Florida Department of Transportation is also currently working on 38 more crossings.

Click here to learn more about the Wildlife Corridor.

DeSantis also discussed signing House Bill 1565.

House Bill 1565 provides money to fight red tide, which has been an issue for Southwest Florida in the past.

“I am not only going to sign this legislation, which is important, but I can announce I have already approved for this fiscal year 20 million dollars toward innovative technology combating red tide and HAB [harmful algal blooms] and over 22 million dollars for red tide research, management, and mitigation which is really really significant,” said DeSantis.

Click here to learn more about House Bill 1565 from the Florida Senate.

Watch the full news conference below:

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