Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently spoke about his environmental strategy at this year's annual Lay of the Land Conference. The Governor discussed a number of topics including Florida Supreme Court Appointees, the rise of skilled labor, and the steps that he has taken to protect Florida's environment.
When campaigning to be Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis ran on a platform involving the protection of Florida's environment and natural water systems. Since winning the election, Governor DeSantis has approved of the spending of $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration and water quality.
More recently, Governor DeSantis also approved of the purchase of two pieces of land (one North of Gainesville, the other in Sarasota County) using Florida Forever to fund $19.5 million dollars towards the purchase. Speaking about his commitment to the conservation of Florida's environment, DeSantis stated that "the protection of our environment... is one of the most pressing issues facing our state."
At the Lay of the Land conference, he referenced specific budgetary efforts to address environmental concerns:
- '"We wanted to make sure we were doing what we needed in terms of water infrastructure, to make sure that one of the things that makes Florida great, that we had a clean, steady, and healthy supply of water for the state. So we came out with a bold plan in a variety of fronts on that, and not just in terms of the infrastructure but also combating things like blue-green algae and Everglades restoration."
- "We did very well in the budget on that [Everglades Project]. I wanted $625 million for those associated projects per year for the next 4 years. The legislature didn't do that they did like $680 million last year. We're gonna get something probably similar this year. And then we got the federal government to do a 60 million dollar match for us to raise the Tamiami Trail. And they did 200 million dollars for Everglades restoration, which was a huge thing."
- "We've got some great people serving on the water management districts. We have a lot of good people who know a lot about this stuff. It's important. It's an important part of Florida."
DeSantis has used the power of his office to allocate funds towards environmental protection. One tool that he has used is the Florida Forever fund that helps the state government perform land acquisitions.
- "We've supported different things in terms of land acquisition, like Florida Forever. One thing that people were concerned about was in Broward County you had an oil company that wanted to do oil in the Everglades. And I don't know how viable that is or not, but bottom line is that's something that I think a lot of Floridians didn't want to see. So we negotiated and ended up purchasing the land. And I think it'll help contribute to our efforts to be able to do well by the state's Everglades and water supplies."
- "We've done a lot of land acquisitions over the last year. We've done some in Central Florida, we just did a pretty big one in Sarasota that a lot of people were happy about. So this is something that we are going to continue to work hard on. We have really strong support from both parties in the legislature on this. I think Florida is on a good trajectory."
Listen to the governor's full remarks here: