This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis was joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sec. Shawn Hamilton and Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains to announce the awards for 103 wastewater and springs projects totaling $481 million.
The projects awarded will improve water quality in waterbodies across Florida, reducing total nitrogen loading by a combined more than 700,000 pounds per year.
“These awards are going to make a big difference for our world-renowned springs and water quality all throughout the state of Florida,” said DeSantis. “Florida’s water resources are what our economy runs on – they are an economic driver, but even apart from that, our environment is really integral to what these communities are all about. We’re blessed to have it and we have a responsibility to leave it better than we found it.
“Today, we are taking another step forward for the protection of our state’s natural resources,” said Hamilton. “This funding will support 103 important projects to construct, upgrade, or expand wastewater treatment facilities to provide advanced waste treatment, upgrade or convert traditional septic systems, and acquire land that will restore and protect our springs and other waterways.
“We are so honored to have Governor DeSantis visit Weeki Wachee Springs State Park for today’s important announcement,” said state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Tribly. “Florida’s pristine natural beauty is world-renowned and together with Governor DeSantis, the Florida Legislature has worked to ensure that we have the funds necessary to preserve these resources. We have been working for many years to dedicate more resources to wastewater programs that we know make a huge difference in our environment, and our Governor has been a tremendous champion of those efforts. We are proud to partner with Governor DeSantis not only to keep Florida free, but to preserve her natural beauty and resources for future generations.”
“Ensuring that our state’s water is clean is a key part of preparing Florida today for our future generations,” said state House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. “Some of the best memories I have with my two young sons are on Florida’s waterways. As they grow up and build families of their own, my hope is that they, too, can one day share in the joy of Florida’s waterways with their kids. I commend Governor DeSantis for his attention to this pressing issue and to the members of the House who saw the legislation to passage so that today’s announcement could be possible. Today, we are one step closer to making sure our beloved waterways are preserved, restored, and able to be enjoyed for many years to come.”
“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership and commitment to implementing sound, science-based solutions to current and future environmental challenges,” said Rains. “Today’s announcement is another example of this vision in action. These projects will result in demonstrable water quality benefits for our springs and waterbodies throughout the state.”
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