Freedom First Budget Surpasses Four-Year Funding Goal for Everglades Restoration and Protection of Water Resources

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Freedom First Budget Surpasses Four-Year Funding Goal for Everglades Restoration and
Protection of Water Resources

~Budget reinforces commitment to Everglades restoration, water quality protections, vital land acquisitions, and resiliency of inland and
coastal communities~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) celebrates the success of the 2022 Legislative Session and key environmental investments in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget. The budget includes a more than $3.6 billion investment in Florida's environment and water quality to ensure the delicate balance of environmental protection and a heathy economy is maintained, including more than $1.2 billion for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources. This brings the four-year total to more than $3.3 billion, surpassing the goal of $2.5 billion and more than doubling the investment made in the previous four years.

"On his first full day in office, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-12, which laid out his bold vision to protect Florida’s environment. The FY 2022-23 environmental budget continues the Governor's commitment with historic levels of support for Everglades restoration, water quality protections, vital land acquisitions, and resiliency of inland and coastal communities," said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. "With this funding, DEP and its partners will be able to continue our work to expedite Everglades restoration; implement clean water projects to reduce nutrients in our waterways; assist communities with water supply projects; combat ​​blue-green algae and red tide; make our communities more resilient; and acquire vital lands essential to the tourism that drives Florida's economy and protection of our critical water resources."

Budget highlights include:

  • More than $500 million for Everglades Restoration.
    • $352 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, including the EAA Reservoir and Restoration Strategies.
    • $78 million for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan and dispersed water management (water storage in the basins).
    • Additionally, $100 million of federal funding is included for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.
  • More than $557 million for Targeted Water Quality Improvements, which includes:
    • $125 million for cost-share grant funds for water quality improvements, including septic conversions and upgrades, other wastewater improvements, and rural and urban stormwater system upgrades.
    • $50 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals (called total maximum daily loads), which may include green infrastructure investments or land conservation to protect our water resources.
    • $20 million for wastewater and stormwater projects that address water quality impairments and coral reef restoration in Biscayne Bay.
  • $75 million for Springs Restoration.
  • $50 million for Alternative Water Supply.
  • Nearly $31 million to Combat Harmful Algal Blooms and Red Tide.
    • $20 million for innovative technologies and short-term solutions to aid in the prevention, cleanup and mitigation of harmful algal blooms

    • $5 million to assist county governments with their response to red tide events.

  • More than $500 million for Resiliency.
    • This funding will support development of a statewide data set and vulnerability assessment; grants for adaptation projects to address risks of flooding and sea level rise to coastal and inland communities; sea level rise planning efforts; and adaptation projects to strengthen critical infrastructure.
  • $50 million for Beach Restoration.
  • More than $375 million for Prized Properties.
    • $100 million for Florida Forever.
    • $264 million for infrastructure improvements and resource management at Florida's state parks.
    • $10 million for grants to local governments through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program.
  • $220 million for Cleanup Programs.

Learn more about DEP’s environmental actions at