State Invests Billions to Preserve Florida's Natural Beauty

Governor Scott Recommends ~ $1.6 Billion
to Protect and Preserve Florida’s
Natural Resources
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Scott today recommended nearly $1.6 billion in funding dedicated to the protection and preservation of Florida’s natural and water resources. The Governor’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget includes funding dedicated to key environmental projects, such as $150 million for Everglades restoration, $50 million for springs protection and improvements, more than $150 million for the acquisition and management of conservation lands, and $50 million for water supply development projects.
“We applaud Governor Scott for taking this critical step toward increasing land management funding. This increase will allow for enhanced prescribed fire and invasive plant management necessary to ensure the health of Florida’s conservation lands for iconic Florida species, such as panther and scrub jay and to enhance public recreation,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Florida.
”During my first term, we made historic investments in our springs and Everglades and I am proud to continue to make important investments in our environment this year,” said Governor Scott. “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 is the only state that has been awarded three National Gold Medals for Excellence by the National Recreation and Park Association, and the funding recommended in the “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget will help this award-winning system continue to improve. Along with repairs and renovations, the budget also includes funding for ADA access improvements so all Floridians and visitors are able to enjoy the natural treasures of Florida’s 161 State Parks.
State Acquires 620 Acres within
Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed

This month, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, acquired 620 acres of conservation lands within the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Florida Forever project for $9,765,000. 
The CREW project provides connectivity between three conservation areas, offers critical protection for wildlife like the Florida panther and Florida Black Bear, and protects the flow of water into the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and other areas. The project supports at least two species of rare and endangered orchids and includes an unusual strain of dwarf bald cypress.   
“Adding this land to CREW will provide many important benefits, including preserving southwest Florida’s water supply and providing connections between three conservation areas critical to the restoration of the Everglades,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. 
The property will be managed by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) as an addition to the CREW Wildlife Environmental Area to improve the environmental value and ecological functions of the watershed and provide public recreational opportunities such as hiking, wildlife viewing and birding.  

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