Effort to fight climate change getting more funding in Florida’s budget

Despite vetoes, Gov. DeSantis leaves money for green projects intact

Funds to protect wetlands like the Guana River are included in this the state budget signed by Gov. DeSantis.
Funds to protect wetlands like the Guana River are included in this the state budget signed by Gov. DeSantis. (wjxt)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a $101.5 billion budget for this fiscal year, including $41.5 million to combat climate change in Florida.

DeSantis’s signature marked the first time the state’s budget has exceeded $100 billion, and the state will have over $9 billion more to work with than last year. Several million dollars have been earmarked for efforts to address the impacts of climate change on the environment.

Despite that funding, this is the second year in a row that the budget does not cover plans to mitigate underlying causes of climate change or any initiative to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, the largest chunk of money is set aside for efforts to fix environmental issues.

A project to restore the Florida Everglades is receiving the biggest piece of that pie, $780 million. That price tag includes water resource protection, targeted water quality improvements, springs restoration, Biscayne Bay and technology to minimize blue-green algae.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the state’s environmental efforts, will be among the recipients of $152 million allocated for investment in both land acquisition and the state parks.

This funding supports projects that protect natural habitats and natural resources — aquifers, springs, crucial rivers and wetlands — as well as an increase in recreational opportunities for Floridians and visitors alike.

Another significant piece of funding will go toward Florida’s beaches. The budget includes a record-breaking $100 million to fund shoreline initiatives that protect against storm impacts.

A smaller amount of money is set aside for efforts to ensure the state and local governments are prepared to deal with the impacts of climate changes, such as sea level rise, more damaging hurricanes and flooding.

DeSantis also vetoed about 150 out of 700 line items in the budget, several of which impacted northeast Florida.


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