Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he will request $660 million for Everglades restoration efforts and $550 million for coastal resiliency in budget proposals for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
DeSantis said the request would bring to about $1 billion the money for a resiliency program aimed at combating rising sea levels.
“I think that will make us more able to handle some extreme weather events, help handle flooding, all these other things,” DeSantis said while at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples.
DeSantis is expected to release a full budget proposal in early December. Lawmakers will use that proposal as a starting point in negotiating a budget during the legislative session that will start Jan. 11.
DeSantis has started to gradually release details of his proposal, including environmental details on Tuesday. The proposal includes $40 million for alternative water supplies, $50 million for natural springs, $50 million to protect coral reefs and $35 million to combat harmful algae blooms.
The proposal continues a 2019 pledge by DeSantis to spend $2.5 billion over four years for environmental projects, an amount he said will be surpassed during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
He said the state will also increase spending on efforts to eradicate pythons from the Everglades.
“We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s a lot of these pythons there,” DeSantis said. “They’re not easy to find. We’ll also put some of this money if there’s new gizmos that come out that can identify these pythons easier.”