Governor Rick Scott today announced that more than $450 million has been invested in Florida’s springs since 2011 – the highest amount of funding for springs under any Governor in Florida history. Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) submitted a plan to the Florida Legislature to invest $50 million in springs restoration from this year’s budget. When leveraged with funding from local partners, this plan proposes a total investment of nearly $86 million in 35 springs projects during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. DEP’s proposed plan focuses on projects critical for springs restoration, including investing $32 million in sewer and septic projects.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s springs are one of our state’s most pristine natural treasures, which is why I’ve fought for record funding. Every dollar that we’re investing in these projects preserves our iconic springs and helps ensure that we are protecting Florida’s entire environment. I will never stop fighting for our springs and waterways.”
Under Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida has made historic progress protecting springs, including:
- Since 2011, the total investment in Florida’s springs is more than $450 million, the highest amount of funding under any Governor in Florida’s history;
- In 2016, Governor Scott signed the Legacy Florida bill, securing a dedicated source of funding for springs protection;
- Since 2011 and including this year’s plan, the projects implemented thanks to this historic funding will make a direct impact to protect springs and are expected to:
- Reduce more than 11 million pounds of nitrogen from Florida’s springs;
- Save 339 million gallons per day of water to improve spring flow;
- Protect more than 10,000 acres of land surrounding springs through strategic acquisitions.
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “The health of Florida’s springs is critical to our state’s environment, economy and communities. Thanks to Governor Scott and the Legislature, we continue to make record investments in projects to protect these amazing natural resources. We look forward to the Legislative Budget Commission approving this restoration plan that will allow us to continue to partner with Florida’s water management districts and local communities to protect our springs.”