On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis went to bat for the Keys, showcasing initiatives to help Monroe County continue to recover from Hurricane Irma including the launch of a new canal restoration program.
“My administration is committed to helping the Florida Keys make a full recovery from Hurricane Irma,” said DeSantis. “I will continue to work tirelessly to get recovery dollars to these communities.”
DeSantis said the state Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will launch a Canal Restoration Work Program that “will set forth a definitive timeline for canal restoration with essential milestones for the completion of the project.” The DEO will “propose at a future meeting of the Florida Cabinet to designate the Canal Restoration Work Program as a crucial component of the environmental protection plan for the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern.”
“I congratulate the Florida Keys community for the significant progress made over the past couple of decades pursuant to its Area of Critical State Concern Work Program,” DeSantis said. “Going forward, canal restoration is the last piece of the puzzle in restoring the Florida Keys back to its original beauty.”
DeSantis also noted that DEO has reserved $90 million for affordable housing programs before turning his attention to hurricane preparedness. In his proposed budget, DeSantis has called for a week-long sales tax holiday on items Floridians need to prepare for hurricanes.