Statement by DEP Secretary Hamilton on Governor Ron DeSantis' Focus on Florida’s Future Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25

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Statement by DEP Secretary Hamilton on Governor Ron DeSantis' Focus on Florida’s Future Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25 

Focus on Florida’s Future Budget Continues This Administration’s Legacy for Environmental Protection with Investments in Everglades Restoration, Water Quality Protections, Vital Land Acquisitions and Resilience of Communities ~ 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  Today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton issued the following statement regarding Governor Ron DeSantis' submittal of his proposed Focus on Florida’s Future Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25 to the Florida Legislature. 

From the first day of his administration, Governor DeSantis recognized that clean water is vital to our state and communities, and that we cannot afford to spend any more time simply talking about environmental protection but must take immediate action. His two Executive Orders, 19-12 and then 23-06, established a bold environmental agenda with major policy changes and record levels of funding. The proposed $3.4 billion in this budget ensures Florida remains committed to protecting our environment and way of life.

The more than $1 billion in funding proposed to protect Florida’s precious water resources will expedite critical Everglades Restoration projects and bolster planning and infrastructure for water quality, quantity and supply projects. Most importantly, the commitment of continued funding for water quality improvement projects allows governments to pursue important projects to protect and preserve our natural ecosystems, knowing there is a strong and committed funding partner in the state.

The $157 million proposed in this budget will ensure that Florida remains one of the most proactive states in the nation in addressing the resilience for both inland and coastal communities, ensuring that communities are prepared for the impacts of flooding and storm surge. 

Florida is also at the forefront of the nation’s land protection efforts and continues to be a model for other land acquisition programs across the country. This budget proposes $125 million to enable the state to continue conserving environmentally sensitive lands through the Florida Forever program and creating recreational opportunities for future generations. 

Governor DeSantis’ legacy of environmental protection through his decisive leadership and bold agenda has positioned Florida as a leader in environmental protection. Through this committed funding and coupled with legislative support, we will continue our momentum in protecting Florida together. 

Budget highlights include: 

  • $745million for Everglades Restoration. 
    • $614 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, including the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. 
    • $76.5 million for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Plan. 
    • $50 million for the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project. 
  •  $330 million for targeted water quality improvements.  
    • $135 million for the newly expanded Water Quality Improvement Grant Program. 
    • $100 million for projects that address water quality impairments in the Indian River Lagoon. 
    • $50 million to accelerate projects to meet scientific nutrient reduction goals. 
    • $25 million for Caloosahatchee River and Estuary for water quality improvement projects.
    • $20 million for projects that address water quality impairments and coral reef restoration in Biscayne Bay. 
  • $175 million for prized properties. 
    • $125 million for the Florida Forever Program. 
    • $50 million for infrastructure improvements and resource management at Florida’s award-winning state parks. 
  • $157 million for environmental resilience projects. 
  • $80 million for alternative water supply. 
  • $50.8 million to combat harmful algal blooms and red tide. 
  • $50 million to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs.  
  • $50 million for beach restoration. 
  • $211 million for cleanup programs, including petroleum, dry cleaning and hazardous waste site clean-up. 

Learn more about what DEP is doing to protect Florida’s environment at