PINELAND – Tuesday July 14, Governor Rick Scott was at Pineland Marina in Lee County to highlight funding to protect Florida’s environment included in this year’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget and invests $2.4 million to support local environmental and agricultural projects in Lee County, with more than $1.7 million going to projects that will help protect and improve water resources within the county.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s natural resources are some of the most unique and beautiful in the entire world and also help provide a foundation for our growing economy and record-breaking tourism industry. From our hundreds of miles of coastline, pristine waterways and our award-winning state parks, we will continue to invest in our natural resources so our future generations can enjoy our beautiful state.”
The budget invests $3.5 billion in funding for natural and agricultural resources. This includes more than $500 million for projects to improve the quality and quantity of our water – including $106 million for Everglades restoration and a record $45 million for springs protection.
DEP Secretary Jon Steverson said, “I want to thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for recognizing the importance of protecting and restoring our natural resources. The ‘KEEP FLORIDA WORKING’ budget includes funding for a number of projects, including the C-43 reservoir, that is crucial to protecting our water quality, ensuring our communities have a clean and safe supply of water, and making sure our state stays the most beautiful in the nation.”
Mitch Hutchcraft, Governing Board member of the South Florida Water Management District said, “Support for water projects in Lee County enhances our work to improve the entire Caloosahatchee watershed.”
Representative Matt Hudson said, “I am thrilled the Governor’s budget focuses on finishing projects to protect Florida’s estuaries and the Everglades. The Everglades provide a home to an abundant array of untapped natural treasures. I am excited to work with DEP and the SFWMD to identify additional needed storage using these funds.”
Representative Kathleen Passidomo said, “This budget reflects his continued commitment to protecting Florida’s natural resources that impact Florida’s economy and quality of life. More than $500 million has been allotted to improve the quality and quantity of our water. These funds exemplify the commitment of the Governor to restore and protect the south Florida ecosystem.”
Representative Heather Fitzenhagen said, “We are happy that Governor Scott prioritized $106 million in funding to preserve the natural treasures found in the Everglades so Florida can continue to be a top destination to live, work, and raise a family. This capitalizes on the momentum of the last four years, and south Florida families will see that Everglades restoration will be a priority for many years to come.”