Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Framework for Freedom Budget, Continuing Historic Momentum for Environmental Protection

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Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Framework for Freedom Budget, Continuing Historic Momentum for Environmental Protection

~ Budget reinforces state’s commitment to Everglades restoration, water quality protections, vital land acquisitions, and resilience of inland and coastal communities ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is celebrating the success of the 2023 Legislative Session and key investments in Florida’s environment included in the Framework for Freedom Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24, signed last week by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The budget provides more than $3.8 billion to support Florida's environment by enhancing key protections, ensuring the health of Florida’s environment and supporting Florida’s economy. The total includes over $1.6 billion for Everglades restoration and water quality projects.

"On Governor DeSantis’ first days in office, he set a goal to improve Florida’s environment, signing Executive Order 19-12, and four years later, renewing his commitment with Executive Order 23-06, laying out an ambitious environmental agenda focused on Everglades restoration, water quality protection, and resilience of inland and coastal communities," said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. "With the historic funding levels since 2019, Florida’s position as a national leader in environmental protection is further solidified. With this even greater funding in the Framework for Freedom budget, we will continue to achieve even more now for Florida’s environment." 

Budget highlights include:

More than $694 million for Everglades restoration:

  • $478.5 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, including the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir and Restoration Strategies.
  • $96.1 million for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan and dispersed water management (water storage in the basins).
  • $70 million for the C-51 Reservoir.
  • $50 million for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.

More than $796 million for Targeted Water Quality Improvements:

  • $200 million for cost-share grant funds for water quality improvements.
  • $100 million for septic conversions and upgrades, other wastewater improvements, and rural and urban stormwater system upgrades to support restoration of the Indian River Lagoon.
  • $40 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals
  • $25 million for water quality improvements in the Caloosahatchee River watershed.
  • $20 million for wastewater and stormwater projects that address water quality impairments and coral reef restoration in Biscayne Bay.
  • $13 million for additional water quality improvements, including Lake Apopka, wetlands restoration and protection and areas within the Northwest and St. Johns River water management districts.

$60 million for alternative water supply.

$59 million to combat harmful algal blooms and red tide.

$50 million for springs restoration.

$100 million in annual dedicated funding for the Florida Forever Program.

$356 million for resilience, including protection of our coral reefs.

  • $300 million for implementation of projects on the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan.

$156 million for beach restoration, including fully funding DEP’s Hurricanes Ian and Nicole Recovery Plan for Florida’s Beach and Dune System.

$37 million for infrastructure improvements and resource management at Florida's state parks.

$211 million for cleanup programs.

In addition to the FY 2023-24 budget, Governor DeSantis recently signed House Bill 1379, the department’s comprehensive environmental protection legislation, which supports the goals of Executive Order 23-06 and builds on historic investments that Florida has made since 2019 to protect and restore our environment and water resources. 

Learn more about DEP’s environmental actions at