Gov. DeSantis announces more than $680M environmental funding

VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop at Virginia Key to announce that more than $680 million funding has been budgeted for environmental preservation.

DeSantis highlighted the historic funding during a visit to the University of Miami campus on Virginia Key, Tuesday.

“I’m pleased to report today that we didn’t get exactly $625 million. We got more than $625 million,” said DeSantis. “This is a big step to be able to do, I think, what most Floridians want to do: conserve our natural resources and make sure we have good water quality and make sure Everglades are restored.”

More than $680 million from the $91 billion budget approved last week by the Florida legislature will go towards the environment, like fighting red tide and toxic algae blooms.

“This governor has delivered greater advances in Everglades restoration and clean water than we have seen in at least a decade,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation.

The budget is also expected to assist in restoring the Everglades and protecting Florida’s freshwater springs.

“Our watersheds need help, and these appropriations are a meaningful step in the right direction,” said Doug Gaston, northern Everglades policy analyst.

This year’s budget will also allocate $31 million for state parks.

Many state parks in the panhandle received damage during Hurricane Michael, and the funds will go towards restoring trees along with other facilities.

DeSantis also called on the federal government to do its part.

“Florida has got a lot of skin in the game. We’re putting up big money,” said DeSantis.

DeSantis is expected to make an announcement regarding plastic straws later this week.

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