This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced almost $23 million “to support water quality improvements and protection of Biscayne Bay. Projects funded through the Biscayne Bay Grant Program include septic to sewer conversions, stormwater management and wetland restoration in areas surrounding Biscayne Bay, Florida’s largest estuary with a direct connection to Florida’s Coral Reef.”
DeSantis said seven projects in South Florida would get $22.7 million.
“Protecting our environment has been a priority since the first day I took office,” said DeSantis. “These investments to protect Biscayne Bay will improve water quality and help us preserve one of Florida’s most important natural resources for generations to come.”
“In the year since we convened the Biscayne Bay Commission, we have improved coordination among stakeholders to develop a path toward restoration of this treasured resource,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sec. Shawn Hamilton. “The investments we are making under the leadership of Governor DeSantis are an important step forward to improving water quality in Biscayne Bay. I look forward to continuing this momentum through our collaborative work with our local partners.”
Around two-thirds of the funds–$14.5 million–will go to Miami Dade County for water quality characterization and pollution reduction projects. North Miami will get $2.3 million for septic to sewer conversions. Coral Gables will get $2 million for sewer improvements. Miami Springs is penciled in for $2 million for stormwater infrastructure.
Cutler Bay will get $700,000 to restore wetlands while Key Biscayne will receive $650,000 for stormwater infrastructure. The Miami River Fund, Inc., a non-profit, will get $600.00 to work with local governments on stormwater and marine debris management.
Funding awarded today brings the four-year total investment in Biscayne Bay water quality and “protection to $52 million. In total, Florida has invested more than $3.3 billion over the past four years in protecting natural water resources and Everglades restoration projects, more than doubling the amount of funding from the previous four years before the governor took office,” DeSantis’ office noted. “Additionally, last year the governor signed House Bill 1177 to establish the Biscayne Bay Commission. The commission brings state, federal and regional entities together to monitor the strategic plan for Biscayne Bay and create an associated financial plan to ensure its priorities are funded, using agencies representing the commission.”
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