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Published on April 22, 2024
Florida Governor Pledges $6.5 Billion for Everglades Restoration and Water Quality Improvements in West Palm Beach Earth Day AnnouncementSource: Facebook/Governor Ron DeSantis

On Earth Day in West Palm Beach, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled the latest slew of environmental and water quality upgrades aimed at bolstering the state's resources. During a press conference at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium, DeSantis, alongside Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton, detailed the funds channeled into preserving the Sunshine State's natural treasures.

With an ambitious nod to the future, DeSantis proclaimed, "As of January 2025, we are on track to acquire $6.5 billion in upgrades for the Everglades Restoration Project since 2019," – a quote provided in reports by NBC Miami. The commitment marked a substantial increase, more than doubling the funds pledged in the prior four years. In addition to Everglades funding, an extra $1.5 billion is set to go swiftly into improving wastewater treatment facilities.

Hammering the point home about the critical nature of these investments, Secretary Hamilton stated, "The investments in water quality are the key to our survival," as found in published remarks from NBC Miami. Further extending the environmental push, DeSantis has also channeled funds from the Seminole Gaming Company to support the Everglades restoration efforts.

Two significant pieces of legislation are waiting on DeSantis' desk – SB 1136, focussing on water resource regulations, and HB 156, specifically addressing the menaces of red tide and technology development initiatives. While the governor didn't ink either bill during the event, he stated, according to Local 10, "The wastewater grant will go into effect on July 1," confirming the launch date for part of the environmental initiative.

Moreover, the South Florida Water Management District is also said to be receiving $150 million for crucial updates to the region's water management system. This move is set to benefit the area's more than nine million residents by providing clean drinking water and a more robust defense against the threat of flooding – a cause DeSantis heartily endorses as he strives to safeguard resources for Floridians' enjoyment without waste.