Governor Ron DeSantis today announced several initiatives to assist residents in Monroe County recover from Hurricane Irma, prepare for future storms and restore the beauty of the Keys with a new canal restoration initiative.
“My administration is committed to helping the Florida Keys make a full recovery from Hurricane Irma,”said Governor DeSantis. “I will continue to work tirelessly to get recovery dollars to these communities.”
Additionally, the Governor announced he is directing the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to immediately begin developing a Canal Restoration Work Program that will set forth a definitive timeline for canal restoration with essential milestones for the completion of the project.
“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,” Governor DeSantis continued.“Going forward, canal restoration is the last piece of the puzzle in restoring the Florida Keys back to its original beauty.”
In developing this program, 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.
Governor DeSantis emphasized that DEO has also set aside $90 million for affordable housing in the Keys and that he will continue to work closely with the Florida Legislature on authorization to deploy this funding and other recovery dollars as soon as possible.
The Governor then underscored the importance of hurricane preparedness, stating that hurricane season is fast-approaching and the time to begin preparing is now. Governor DeSantis included a one-week Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in his budget recommendations to help in the effort to properly and efficiently prepare for the upcoming season.