Expanding on his Jan. 10 announcement of a $2.5-billion plan to improve Florida’s water resources, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will ask the state legislature to authorize more than $625 million per year for Everglades restoration and water resources over the four years of his first term when the 2019 legislative session opens March 5.
The proposed budget includes $360 million for at least 23 Everglades projects that will provide 672,000 acre-ft of water storage and reduce Lake Okeechobee discharges that have caused toxic algal blooms on the coasts and estuaries. Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir funding will be boosted 67% to $107 million to expedite work, and $40 million will be provided to expedite completion of the Tamiami Trail project to restore water-flow south.
DeSantis will request $150 million more for targeted water-quality improvement projects to reduce nutrient reductions in key waterbodies.