The historic amount, committed over 20 years, is committed to reclaiming one of the most unique landscapes on earth.
Governor Rick Scott announced his commitment to conservation last week by promising to dedicate $5 billion over the next 20 years to restoration projects in the Everglades.
In a press release from the governor’s office, the Everglades restoration commitment was hailed as the next step in the governor’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget plan:
Florida has an abundance of natural resources that help create a foundation for our growing economy, whether it is driving our state’s tourism industry or providing a great quality of life that has attracted families to our state for generations. […] We will keep working to make sure we preserve our natural treasures so Florida can continue to be a top destination for families, visitors and businesses.
Florida voters amended the constitution last November to include Amendment 1, which dedicates a significant amount of real estate tax revenue to acquire “environmentally sensitive land, protect wildlife, preserve water supplies and similar uses.”
According to reports, nearly half the Everglades has been lost to farming and development. What is left of the Everglades is threatened by further development, chemical runoff, and altered water levels.
Environmentalists are optimistic about the future of Florida’s ecosystems on the heels of Amendment 1, and the governor’s announcement continues to bolster spirits.
Eric Draper, director of Audubon of Florida, says the state’s commitment to conservation removes a lot of the anxiety surrounding year-to-year funding of major projects.
Projects that need to get built are going to get built.
Scott proposed an additional $150 million in this year’s budget that would go to protecting undeveloped parts of the Everglades, as well as critical habitat for the Florida panther.