Ron DeSantis Announces More than $10 Million for Sarasota for Storm Resiliency, Migration

At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more than $10 million to the city of Sarasota to enhance water quality and protect from erosion, storms, and flooding in Bay Park and surrounding communities.

Funding is awarded through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

“Utilizing funding to make meaningful impacts on Florida communities is an important step we can take towards mitigating storm damage,” said DeSantis on Friday. “The Sarasota community is better protected because of these projects at Bay Park, and I will continue to work with Secretary Eagle to make sure that communities in need are receiving funding and that our state investments make the biggest impact possible.”

The city of Sarasota will use funds received from DEO to make improvements at Bay Park in Sarasota. Projects funded through this grant include water quality improvements to Hog’s Creek to restore the natural stream, elevation of Van Wezel Way to protect against flooding, and major shoreline improvements to create a natural shoreline. These projects will enhance resiliency of the park and surrounding areas against storm damage and mitigate damage that could be caused by a major storm impacting the Sarasota coast.

“I applaud Governor DeSantis for providing storm-impacted communities the opportunity to complete large, high-impact infrastructure projects that will continue to pay dividends for future generations,” said DEO Sec. Dane Eagle. “These investments made in Sarasota will not only help them continue to recover from Hurricane Irma, but will also help them develop a stronger, more resilient economy.”

Water quality improvements made to Hog’s Creek are expected to mitigate red tide events and enhance the fish quality for community fishermen and families who enjoy the creek. The elevation of Van Wezel Way will create a flood barrier along the park in order to mitigate flooding in the event of a storm and protect key park resources and surrounding buildings. The elevated roadway will also enhance the ability of emergency personnel to reach citizens in need in the event of a storm. Shoreline improvements made as part of this project will create natural infrastructure including a stepped floodwall and a resilient rock revetment which will provide storm and flood protection for the park and surrounding communities.

Rebuild Florida is administered by DEO and allows local governments to develop large-scale infrastructure projects that aid communities in making them more resilient against future disasters.

Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of natural disasters. The department is the governor-designated state authority responsible for administering all U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) long-term recovery funds awarded to the state.

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