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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ron DeSantis announces plans to allocate $50 million to restore springs in Central Florida

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 5:32 PM

  • Photo via Ron DeSantis/Twitter
During stops in Naples and Everglades National Park earlier today, Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined his administration's $625 million plan to fund Everglades restoration, as well as other water quality projects.

The administration's latest announcement comes after DeSantis signed an executive order late last week allocating $1 billion in additional funding to protect some of the state's most precious natural resources.

"This is not a partisan issue. This is something that Floridians from all walks of life and political persuasions think needs to be done," DeSantis said. "I look forward to working with the Legislature on bringing this into fruition and getting the job done for the people of this state."

Included in the proposal for 2019: $360 million for Everglades restoration, an additional $150 million for targeted water quality improvements, $50 million to restore springs in Central Florida, and $107 million for an Everglades reservoir that would reduce dirty discharges from Lake Okeechobee – the root of toxic algae's proliferation – double the previous allocation. 
"What we're doing in the budget is historic," DeSantis said. "It will have a very big impact on the quality of life for Floridians."

DeSantis noted that he's in negotiations with President Donald Trump to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep Lake Okeechobee roughly two feet lower for part of the year, so as to better manage discharges.

"That's the easiest path to no discharges, to manage the lake lower in the dry season," he said.

A complete budget will be revealed Friday. DeSantis said he would reveal more of his administration's plans in the coming days.

DeSantis also appointed Chauncey Goss – a board member of Captains For Clean Water and former deputy staff director for the U.S. House budget committee under former Speaker Paul Ryan – to the South Florida Water Management Board, following the governor's call for all nine members' resignations earlier this month.

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