Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ron DeSantis signs executive order calling for $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration, toxic algae task force

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 11:25 AM

  • Photo via Ron DeSantis/Facebook
On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced an executive order calling for $2.5 billion over the next four years to go toward Everglades restoration – a $1 billion increase – and the establishment of a blue-green algae task force.

The order, dubbed "Achieving More Now for Florida's Environment," promises participation in the Florida Wildlife Commission's Harmful Algae Bloom Task Force to expedite the study of red tide's causes and impacts on the environment and human health, and instructs the South Florida Water Management District to begin the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project and for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve the project in line with the state's schedule.

The order also will create the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency, which will organize scientific research and analysis to keep agencies in line with the state's environmental priorities. A chief science officer will also be appointed under the order, with the goal of coordinating and prioritizing scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis in step with key environmental priorities.

"Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida," DeSantis says in a news release. "The protection of water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. That's why today I'm taking immediate action to combat the threats which have devastated our local economies and threatened the health of our communities."

During last year's campaign, DeSantis – who was sworn into office yesterday, replacing former Gov. Rick Scott, who was elected to the U.S. Senate – called himself a "Teddy Roosevelt conservationist" and stressed that he differs philosophically with "liberal environmentalists."

During a tour of the Everglades with reporters, he noted that he's not a "climate change denier," although he also took the time to say that neither is he appreciative of the "climate change believer" label.

In Florida, however, the very fact that DeSantis made the effort to murmur the words "climate change" is arguably leaps and bounds in progress as compared to Scott, whose administration ordered Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials to not use the terms "climate change" or "global warming" in any official communications or reports, according to records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation