Less than 48 hours after being sworn in, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order outlining his bold vision to achieve more now for Florida’s environment.
The Executive Order directs strategic action with a focus on accountability, transparency and collaboration and includes a proposed $2.5 billion investment over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water resources – the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history. Water and natural resources are the foundation of Florida’s communities, economy and way of life and we must work together to take action to restore and protect the environment.
Florida is working to rapidly improve water quality, by:
- Creating a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, which will focus on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years, as well as re-establishing a Red Tide Task Force.
- Expediting projects to clean and reduce discharges from Lake Okeechobee, and pursuing the federal government’s unfulfilled commitment of $200 million annually for Everglades restoration.
- Creating grant programs to assist communities with water supply and septic tank projects.
The Governor has directed changes at DEP to enhance effectiveness, collaboration and transparency, including:
- Appointing a Chief Science Officer to prioritize scientific research and analyze needs for addressing the state’s most pressing environmental concerns.
- Moving the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Unit from FWC to DEP to align resources focused on protection and ensure strong enforcement of Florida’s environmental laws.
- The creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency.
The Governor has directed DEP to ensure that Florida’s valuable and vulnerable coastlines are protected in perpetuity, including:
- Creating an Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection to ensure Florida’s coastal communities are prepared for the impacts of sea-level rise.
- Opposing all off-shore oil and gas activities off every coast in Florida, as well as hydraulic fracturing.