DeSantis wants to spend $625 million to restore Everglades

Florida governor also wants plan to battle algae blooms, red tide

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to restore the Everglades and battle blue-green algae and red tide in South Florida waters.

In an announcement Tuesday morning at the University of Florida, DeSantis said he wants to allocate $625 million to the cause next year and  $2.5 billion over his four-year term to improve water quality. 

DeSantis was accompanied by his newly appointed chief science officer, Tom Frazer, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein and University of Florida President Kent Fuchs.

“Since day one, my administration has been laser focused on addressing our pressing environmental challenges and committed to science-based solutions,” DeSantis said. “We will not take our foot off the gas. My administration will continue to keep environmental protection at the forefront of our approach to leave Florida better than we found it for generations to come.”

Frazer, who was a professor at UF, has an extensive ecology background and supports the governor’s water quality plans.

"I think it’s a super exciting time, seeing that amount of money being funneled to work on these water quality issues," Frazer said. "These are big problems. They take a lot of resources. It’s really good to see the governor’s administration, the secretary and the other agencies focusing on allocating these dollars so they are spent wisely."

DeSantis also said he wants to create a blue-green algae task force and establish a center for red tide research through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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