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The Villages
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Governor signs order to protect Florida’s environment and water quality

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed Executive Order 23-06 (Achieving Even More Now for Florida’s Environment), to further advance the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. The Executive Order directs strategic action with a focus on accountability, sound science, progress, and collaboration and includes a proposed $3.5 billion investment over four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water resources, surpassing the historic investments of the past four years and making it the highest level of funding in Florida’s history. More information on Executive Order 23-06 can be found here.

“Four years ago, I promised to pursue a bold agenda and to commit to lead Florida into a new era of stewardship for Florida’s natural resources, and we delivered,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Today, I am proud to announce the next step in this administration’s continued dedication to Florida’s treasured environment. This order directs funding and strategic action that will continue our momentum and enhance our ongoing efforts to expedite critical Everglades restoration projects, employ sound science to protect and restore our waterways, and fund infrastructure projects to improve water quality and safeguard Florida’s water supply.”

Key provisions of Executive Order 23-06 include directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to:

  • Secure an historic $3.5 billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water resources, including water quality and water supply.
  • Prioritize the protection of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and secure at least $100 million annually for priority projects to improve water quality in the IRL.
  • Expand the existing Wastewater Grant Program by broadening project eligibility to address impacts to water quality from nonpoint sources such as stormwater and agricultural runoff.
  • Ensure that all wastewater facilities discharging to waterbodies within a basin management action plan (BMAP) area or waterbody not attaining water quality standards upgrade to advanced wastewater treatment by 2033.
  • Coordinate with the Department of Economic Opportunity to improve local government long-term comprehensive planning to encourage successful and sustainable growth while protecting natural resources.
  • Strengthen BMAPs, which provide a roadmap to restoring water quality and reducing pollutants, to include the specific projects necessary to meet the requisite water quality standards to achieve restoration goals.
  • Ensure continued funding for statewide resilience projects through the Resilient Florida Program.
  • Take all necessary steps to expedite the state’s land conservation efforts, including a strategic focus on acquisitions within the Wildlife Corridor.

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