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Interior Department Sending $13 Million to Florida for Parks, Expanding Outdoor Recreation Areas

Last week, the U.S. Interior Department announced it will send $279 million to states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for “state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.”

The money will come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Florida will get $13,083,768 in LWCF funds.

“One of the best investments we can make is in stewarding the lands and waters that sustain us and the generations to come. Today we are making critical investments that will help expand access to the outdoors for communities across the country, all while creating jobs and safeguarding the environment from the effects of climate change,” said U.S. Interior Sec. Deb Haaland. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an integral part of advancing President Biden’s conservation vision, which recognizes the need to address the nature and climate crises, improve equitable access to the outdoors, and strengthen the economy.”

“Since its inception in 1965, the LWCF has funded $5.1 billion to support 45,000 projects in every county in the country. At no cost to taxpayers, the LWCF supports increased public access to and protection for federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreation areas — and provides matching grants to state governments for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites,” the Interior Department noted. “The allocation for each state and territory is determined by a population-based apportionment formula set in the LWCF Act. States and territories further allocate these funds to local projects, usually through a competitive process. These investments help support the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative by supporting locally-led outdoor recreation and conservation projects to protect and enhance our nation’s public lands and waters.

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“Access to outdoor recreation helps strengthen and enrich communities,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps enable state and local governments to upgrade parks and recreation areas in their communities and create new outdoor spaces to ensure everyone has access to recreation opportunities close to home.”

Author

  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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