DEP Announces Opportunities to Expand Water Quality Restoration Efforts



CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

DEP Announces Opportunities to Expand Water Quality Restoration Efforts

~RFI for Lake Okeechobee projects issued, RFIs for St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee to follow~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental protection announces new opportunities for all public and private parties to help expand the state's water quality restoration efforts. In light of the Executive Order signed by Governor DeSantis just 48 hours after taking office, which prioritized science-based solutions and immediate action to implement water quality improvement projects, the department is embarking on an expanded public solicitation process to identify projects for future funding opportunities.

"By increasing public input and engagement, we will be able to identify better projects and ensure long-term commitment," said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. "Florida has been fortunate under the leadership of Governor DeSantis to have received historic levels of funding for projects to restore and protect water quality across the state. We are seeking impactful, shovel-ready projects through this public process to ensure we are ready to move forward when next year’s funding becomes available."

Similar to the previous Request for Information (RFI) that DEP issued for innovative technologies to mitigate algal blooms, the department has released a RFI to identify additional nutrient reduction projects within the Lake Okeechobee basin. This is the first time this process has been utilized for project identification for Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs). This new approach allows the department to Achieve More, Now by focusing on the most recent water quality, both phosphorus and nitrogen, and quantity data for identifying the best projects in the basins. Additionally, the RFI is open to all parties including local land owners and technology companies, which goes beyond the typical, local government focus of past BMAPs. 

RFIs for projects for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie BMAP areas will also be issued in the coming days. Governor DeSantis’ executive order called for all three South Florida BMAPs to be updated within a year, and projects submitted will be considered for inclusion in the updated BMAPs. There is no specific funding for projects submitted in response to these RFIs as the RFI is for informational purposes only; however, projects listed in the updated BMAPs will be targeted for future funding.

The RFI can be accessed here, and an FAQ for the RFI can be here.  Submissions are due by Oct.15, 2019.