Key Environmental Projects Earmarked in Florida Budget

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the record $101.5 billion Florida State budget on June 2. The $9.3 billion increase over last year’s $92.2 billion budget is attributed to pandemic-related impacts. Of the anticipated $10.2 billion Federal American Rescue Plan funds designated for Florida, $6.7 billion was utilized to support this budget. Because state revenues were stronger than predicted, legislators opted to put the remainder of the stimulus funds into savings for a total of $6 billion in budget reserves.

For the environment, the budget includes $522 million for Everglades Restoration projects and $400 million for the Florida Forever Land Acquisition Program ($300 million of which is non-recurring funding from federal stimulus dollars). Funding for the newly created Resiliency Grant Trust Fund Program will receive $500 million to address flooding and sea level rise, and the Water Protection and Sustainability Program will receive $500 million to distribute grants to local communities for septic-to-sewer and wastewater infrastructure projects. Another $100 million in funding was approved to address the environmental disaster at Piney Point.

Some of the local water quality projects that received funding include:
$750,000 — Sanibel Sewer Phase IV Expansion Project
$1.36 million — Caloosahatchee Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration
$1 million — Cape Coral Caloosahatchee Reclaimed Water Transmission Main

See the following link for the full: County by County Allocation List. One local project, Bonita Springs Home Elevation and Buyout Program, was vetoed by the governor. Click here for the complete: State 2021 Veto List.

This budget and all other signed bills become effective on July 1, 2021, the beginning of the 2021-2022 state fiscal year.

There are still several issue-related bills that have yet to be presented to the Governor including the growth management and MCORES related bills. If you haven’t contacted the governor on these important bills but would like to, click on the links below:
Oppose HB 1101/HB 421 – Bad Growth Management Combined Bill
Support SB 100 – MCORES Partial Repeal Bill

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