| Conservation Winners and Losers in Appropriations|
| Thanks to the hard work of Audubon staff, advocates, and partners - Everglades, water, springs, coastal resiliency and modest Florida Forever funding remained in the budget when it crossed the finish line. |
Governor DeSantis called for landmark funding for Everglades Restoration and water protection in an executive order on his second day in office. With support from Audubon and advocates like you, and leadership from the Legislature, the final budget included:
Over $360 million for Everglades protection and restoration, including,
In addition, the Legislature appropriated:
- $32 million for Restoration Strategies
- $145.5 million for Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
- $107.8 million for the Everglades Reservoir (almost $44 million more than required, which will allow the urgently needed reservoir development to be accelerated)
- $40 million to complete the Tamiami Trail Project, to move water south to the parched national park
- $5 million for Dispersed Storage
- $32.8 million for the Northern Everglades and Estuary Protection Program
$50 million to the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project as well as $10 million for innovative technologies to combat or treat harmful algal blooms and nutrient enrichment in Florida’s waterbodies including Lake Okeechobee.
$50 million for restoration of Florida’s freshwater springs—this will combine with another $50 million appropriated during the 2018-19 Legislative Session that the Legislature failed to release. These funds are now available to be used towards much needed springs restoration.
$25 million for water quality projects that help meet water quality restoration goals (“Total Maximum Daily Loads,” or TMDLs).
$25 million for water quality projects to target sources that contribute to Harmful Algal Blooms.
$40 million for alternative water supply projects to help communities implement conservation and reuse programs.
$5.5 towards coastal resiliency planning in the face of climate change.
$33 million for Florida Forever, the state’s conservation land buying program.
While we are disappointed at the modest funding appropriated to land conservation this year after $100M in 2018, we must at the same time acknowledge the difference made by your emails and participation. The House originally offered only $20M and your pressure helped the Senate move the House up to $33M. We will continue to work over the coming months to find standard bearers in the Legislature to ensure greater funding next year (Hint: you will have a role in this. Stay tuned!).