Governor Ron DeSantis Awards Over $200 Million for Projects to Restore Florida’s Water Resources

Governor Ron DeSantis Awards Over 0 Million for Projects to Restore Florida’s Water Resources

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the award of $210 million through the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program for 27 statewide projects that will reduce harmful nutrients in Florida’s waterways. The awards include septic-to-sewer projects, wastewater treatment upgrades, stormwater projects, wastewater improvement projects and a regional agricultural project.

“It is important to protect and restore our waterways and to preserve the Florida way of life that has made us the Fishing and Boating Capital of the World,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These awards will help keep our waterways clean for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

These grants assist communities across the state with funding projects to improve and restore impaired waterbodies. The selected projects will reduce total nitrogen loading by more than 1 million cumulative pounds per year, which will help to reduce harmful algal blooms.

“Governor DeSantis has made our state’s water quality a top priority,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “The state of Florida continues to provide communities with the means to tackle water quality improvement projects, with the goal of safeguarding and restoring our natural and water resources.”

On Dec. 5, 2023, Governor DeSantis announced his Focus on Florida’s Future budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024-25, continuing the administration’s legacy of environmental protection. $1.1 billion is included to implement important projects that protect Florida’s water resources, including $135 million for the Water Quality Improvement Grant Program.

Since the former Wastewater Grant Program’s creation in 2020, the Department of Environmental Protection has awarded nearly $763 million for 135 projects to protect Florida’s water resources. Following the 2023 Legislative Session, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1379 which expanded the program to now include additional types of eligible projects –including upgrades and repairs to wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, septic-to-sewer conversions and projects to address agricultural nonpoint sources – as well as additional areas of the state that are now eligible for this program.

The commitment of recurring funding for water quality projects has allowed local governments to plan and proceed with important projects, knowing the state is a strong partner and committed to funding initiatives that protect the health and safety of Florida’s residents and visitors.

A list of all projects selected for funding for Fiscal Year 2023-24 can be found here.

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Originally published at https://www.flgov.com/2023/12/19/governor-ron-desantis-awards-over-200-million-for-projects-to-restore-floridas-water-resources/

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