Conservation prioritized in DeSantis’s new Focus on Florida’s Future Budget

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Burmese python
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, holds a Burmese python at a media event, Thursday, June 16, 2022, where he announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge has opened for the annual 10-day event to be held Aug 5-14, , in Miami. The Python Challenge is intended to engage the public in participating in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal of the Burmese python. Also pictured are Ron Bergeron, left, McKayla Spencer, second from left, Rodney Barreto, third from right, and Jan Fore, second from right. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Nature will continue flourishing on Floridians’ doorsteps after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ensured conservation remains a top priority with his 2024-25 Focus on Florida’s Future Budget.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the budget supports important conservation efforts and expands into areas such as derelict vessel removal, habitat restoration initiatives and more.

Everglades conservation. CREDIT: WINK News

“Governor DeSantis has always invested in conservation, and we are thankful for his unwavering support,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “With his strong leadership, Florida continues to offer fishing, boating and outdoor recreational opportunities to visitors and residents that are second to none.”

Outdoor activities boost Florida’s economy by approximately $15 billion, so by prioritizing preserving the environment, DeSantis also strengthens the economy.

“Governor DeSantis and the Legislature have continued to commit unprecedented funding to Florida’s environment. Because of their support, our conservation legacy will thrive for future generations,” said FWC Executive Director Roger Young.

The budget includes:

  • $9.3 million for habitat restoration initiatives.
  • $7 million for boating access and improvement projects.
  • $5.6 million for artificial reefs.
  • $3.9 million for derelict vessel removal.
  • $2.7 million for 12 new law enforcement positions for patrol and investigation.
  • $1.4 million and four new positions for land management activities.
  • $1 million and four new positions for coral reef restoration and recovery.
  • $1 million and three new positions for statewide oyster and habitat resiliency enhancements.
  • More than $350,000 and three new positions for initiatives intended to enhance the resiliency of saltwater fisheries.

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