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Governor Highlights Budget Funding for Land Conservation and Red Tide Mitigation

The Florida Channel via WINK

Naples - Tuesday April 23, 2024: Governor DeSantis today highlighted continued efforts to fight red tide outbreaks during a bill signing ceremony in Naples this afternoon.

The Governor signed House Bill 1565, the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, which removes the sunset provision of the initiative and directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and MOTE Marine Laboratory to continue to coordinate efforts to innovate technologies to address the impacts of red tide on Florida. Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has approved more than $125 million towards algae mitigation and championed innovation as the solution to ecological challenges in the state of Florida.

Additionally, he spoke about the $100 million in funding for the Florida Wildlife Corridor which is authorized by Senate Bill 1638, which the Governor signed earlier this month.

“I am proud of our investments in land conservation to conserve and connect Florida’s natural landscapes, preserve working lands, and provide for the safe passage of Florida’s endangered species,” said the Governor. “I am also happy to sign legislation continuing research efforts to mitigate the impacts of red tide and preserve our coastal communities and working waterfronts.”

TheFlorida Wildlife Corridor, established under Governor DeSantis in 2021, encompasses nearly 18 million acres of land. Ten million acres of the Wildlife Corridor are protected conservation lands, including state parks, state forests, and family farms. Earlier this month, Governor DeSantis signed SB 1638, which appropriated $100 million to the Florida Wildlife Corridor from Seminole Gaming Compact revenue for Fiscal Year 2024-2025 and designates the lesser of 26.042% or $100 million to support the corridor.

Governor DeSantis has also directed Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to continue its efforts to install wildlife crossings along the state’s roadways, including an emphasis on crossings that connect the Florida Wildlife Corridor to allow for the safe passage of Florida’s species, like the Florida Panther. Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has approved over $129 million in funding for wildlife crossings along state roadways, providing FDOT the resources to support the construction of 38 different wildlife crossings across the state.