Southeast
The News-Press

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Major Water Policy Reforms

It’s news millions of Floridians have been waiting eight years to hear: Their governor plans to take the state’s water quality seriously and to back up those plans with serious money.

A day after his inauguration, Ron DeSantis began a three-stop tour in Southwest Florida, still reeling from months of crisis-level toxic algae and red tide, to unveil a multifaceted executive order on water policy vastly different from his predecessor’s. Later that afternoon, the dramatic action continued as he asked the entire board of the South Florida Water Management District to resign.

Among the highlights of his order: $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration and water protections — the highest level of restoration funding in the state’s history — a blue-green algae task force, creating a chief science officer position, phasing out septic tanks, putting teeth in environmental crime enforcement and creating an office of resilience and coastal protection to fund and coordinate response to rising sea levels.

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