DeSantis announces $80 million for water infrastructure and storm resilience
Speaking at Port Everglades in Hollywood, Governor Ron DeSantis announced an $80 million investment in stormwater infrastructure and resilience for Florida’s most vulnerable coastal communities in an effort to mitigate damages. by cities following heavy rains and floods.
DeSantis said $16.6 million of the investment will go to Broward County for a water drainage system while $14.8 million will go to the City of Hallandale Beach for sewer system upgrades. The City of Miami received the largest share of the money, with just under $40 million funding a pair of projects.
“As a storm-prone state, we need to make sure that we mitigate the effects of these weather events, and so we passed in the last legislative session a resilient program in Florida, which is if you look at what we’re going to do this legislative session, we’re going to have over a billion dollars to work with local communities,” DeSantis said.
Environmental protection played a large role in shaping DeSantis’ “Freedom First” budget, allocating more than $1 billion to environmental spending, including $660 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million for dollars for Florida Springs Restoration, $35 million to address harmful algal blooms, and a $550 million spending increase.
DeSantis said the money will be available through Resilient Florida, a program set up earlier this year that aims to prepare communities for the impacts of climate change.
“The $1 billion award represents a $550 million increase over this year’s spending,” DeSantis said. “I think it will make us better able to handle some extreme weather events and deal with flooding, all of these other things that I think are really, really important.”
DeSantis also touted the success of opening Florida ports to increased capacity in late 2021, saying ships were being redirected from California and Savannah, Georgia.
“We’re happy to be here in Port Everglades, we’ve made big investments statewide in Florida ports,” DeSantis said. “Including last year $58 million here for Port Everglades. I think some of you may remember we had John all the way to Jacksonville, we made a big announcement just saying ‘we have invested in our ports, we have the capacity,” you see all these ships in California or Savannah, we want them to come to Florida.
DeSantis says that since the investment and announcement, Port Everglades has seen a 15% increase in the volume of ships docking at the port.