Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ veto of the $75 million appropriation for USF St. Petersburg campus’s new Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences Research & Teaching Facility, State Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) released the following statement:
“I am outraged that Governor DeSantis has vetoed funding for the University of South Florida’s new Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences Research and Teaching Facility. This center would have made St. Petersburg the preeminent hub for marine science research and instruction, and would have been a critical economic driver for our city – attracting federal research money, new jobs, and new private sector partnerships and innovation. This funding was a top priority of the University of South Florida because it was a smart investment in the future of our state.
This is a devastating loss for St. Petersburg residents and all Floridians, as this new facility would produce critical research in Florida’s fight against climate change. As sea levels continue to rise, we must equip researchers with the tools and facilities to combat this enormous threat. While the Governor’s veto is a significant loss for the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay region, I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure USF’s vision for this project becomes a reality.”