ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Announces $1.5 Billion for Everglades Restoration and Water Quality Improvements in Fiscal Year 2024–25

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112, DEPNews@FloridaDEP.gov

In Case You Missed It: Governor Ron DeSantis Announces
$1.5 Billion for Everglades Restoration and Water Quality Improvements in Fiscal Year 2024–25

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his commitment to approving $1.5 billion included in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget passed by the Legislature to support Everglades restoration and water quality improvements. This funding brings Florida’s total investment in Everglades restoration and water quality improvements to a record-breaking $6.5 billion since Governor DeSantis took office in 2019.

“I am proud to continue making these investments in Everglades restoration and water quality that will benefit our state for decades to come,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I made a promise to Floridians that we would leave this state better to God than we found it, and we are doing that for our future and our children’s future.”

“Governor DeSantis continues to deliver on the bold promises he has made to ensure Florida’s environment is protected for generations to come,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “With record investments since 2019, Florida has ushered in a new era of stewardship for Florida’s natural resources, especially for America’s Everglades.”

“Governor DeSantis demonstrates year in and year out that leadership matters for Florida’s environment,” said Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks. “Florida’s investments in restoration and the Governor’s tireless resolve continue to turn the tide on decades of neglect imposed on the Everglades and our coastal waters. These wetland and marine ecosystems are invaluable for their provision of economic, quality of life, and flood protection benefits, and these last five years of momentum will ensure their enhanced vitality for current and future generations of Floridians.”

Of the $1.5 billion in funding, approximately $850 million will go towards Everglades restoration projects, including $614 million to support the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir. This is the largest state investment in a single year since CERP was established in 2000.

Additionally, this funding includes $100 million for the second phase of the C-51 Reservoir, which will support the water needs of Palm Beach and Broward counties while also reducing freshwater discharges to the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Also included in the $1.5 billion investment is approximately $530 million for targeted water quality improvement projects, including $135 million for the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program which funds projects that reduce harmful nutrients in our waterways like septic-to-sewer and wastewater treatment upgrades. $100 million is committed to support the Indian River Lagoon. The Governor will also approve $45 million for water quality improvements in Biscayne Bay and the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

This funding is in addition to funding that was allocated in Senate Bill 1638, signed by the Governor earlier this month. Senate Bill 1638 allocates revenue from the Seminole Gaming Compact, directing 96% of the revenue generated to fund water quality improvement, infrastructure, and the continued conservation of lands. As of February 2024, the revenue share estimates are approximately $750 million per year.