The Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association today gave State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, its “Statesman of the Decade Award,” which is 10 times better than a mere Statesman of the Year honor. From a release by Latvala’s campaign for governor:

“Senator Latvala’s leadership, which resulted in a record year of beach and inlet project funding in 2017, has measurably advanced the effective management, repair and protection of Florida’s beaches,” said FSBPA President Debbie Flack. “His leadership has also made me realize just how fortunate Florida’s beaches and coastal communities, and this Association have been to be blessed with such a passionate and committed champion like Jack over the years.”

“Beaches are synonymous with the Florida way of life. They bolster the economy and drive tourism,” added state Senator Lauren Book, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources. “Our shores are not only beautiful, but vital and they are in trouble. Chairman Latvala is a true ally and advocate for Florida’s beaches and shores, pledging once again to ensure beach renourishment and inlet management restoration are well-funded priorities for the State and sustained for generations to come.”

Among other measures, Latvala in 2017 pushed legislation dedicating a minimum of $50 million annually to beach nourishment and inlet management restoration projects in Florida. Additionally, his bill revisited an outdated ranking system to ensure funding is used for projects in greatest need to address the state’s most severe erosion problems.