Water Quality Is A Top Priority For Florida

That’s why, less than 48 hours after being sworn in, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order outlining his bold vision to achieve more now for Florida’s environment. The Executive Order directs strategic action with a focus on accountability, transparency and collaboration and includes a proposed $2.5 billion investment over the next four years.

Statewide Efforts

Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to convene meetings of two task forces, focused on freshwater and saltwater algal blooms, respectively, to immediately address these critical water quality issues.

 

Blue-Green Algae Task Force

Governor DeSantis took a major step forward in combating Blue-Green Algae within Florida through the creation of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force along with the appointment of its five members. The Blue-Green Algae Task Force plays an important role in protecting Florida’s water and water-related resources. Each of the Task Force members is a nationally recognized and well-respected scholar. Their collective scientific expertise and input figures prominently in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s efforts to improve water quality throughout the state.

More on State Task Force

 

Red Tide Task Force

Under Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership the Red Tide Task Force, also  known as the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force, was re-organized and received funding for the first time in more than 15 years. Coordination of the Red Tide Task Force and its activities will be carried out by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Red Tide Task Force will focus on the causes of red tide and seek to provide mitigation solutions, identify research needs, and evaluate other actions intended to address impacts from red tide along with other saltwater based algal blooms.

More on Red Tide Task Force

Timeline

July 28th, 2020
Governor DeSantis Highlights $5.2 Million in Lake Okeechobee Water Quality Research Grants

Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $5 million in grant funding will be awarded to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) as part of Florida’s continued efforts to protect water quality and the Sunshine State’s natural resources. The two grant recipients will be using the funding to implement enhanced nutrient removal technologies, water quality monitoring and data sharing and work to improve the relationship between environmental conditions and nutrient dynamics in Lake Okeechobee. These efforts will result in a better scientific understanding and management of nutrient conditions in Lake Okeechobee.

“Lake Okeechobee continues to be at the center of many discussions surrounding water quality in Florida, and rightfully so,” said Governor DeSantis. “Lake Okeechobee has far reaching impacts on Florida’s natural resources. The allocation of more than $5 million in grant funding will ensure our state’s environmental leaders can continue enhancing our ability to monitor and protect water quality and marine life for years to come.”

View Press Release 

Lake Okeechobee
July 28th, 2020
Governor DeSantis Highlights $5.2 Million in Lake Okeechobee Water Quality Research Grants

Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $5 million in grant funding will be awarded to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) as part of Florida’s continued efforts to protect water quality and the Sunshine State’s natural resources. The two grant recipients will be using the funding to implement enhanced nutrient removal technologies, water quality monitoring and data sharing and work to improve the relationship between environmental conditions and nutrient dynamics in Lake Okeechobee. These efforts will result in a better scientific understanding and management of nutrient conditions in Lake Okeechobee.

“Lake Okeechobee continues to be at the center of many discussions surrounding water quality in Florida, and rightfully so,” said Governor DeSantis. “Lake Okeechobee has far reaching impacts on Florida’s natural resources. The allocation of more than $5 million in grant funding will ensure our state’s environmental leaders can continue enhancing our ability to monitor and protect water quality and marine life for years to come.”

View Press Release 

Lake Okeechobee
June 30th, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs SB 712 “The Clean Waterways Act”

Governor Ron DeSantis made another historic step in Florida’s fight to protect water quality and conserve the state’s natural resources by signing Senate Bill (SB) 712. This bill carries a wide range of water quality protection provisions aimed at minimizing the impact of known sources of nutrient pollution, realigning the State’s resources to enhance the protection of Florida’s environment, and strengthening regulatory requirements.

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Governor DeSantis Signed SB 712, Clean Waterways Act
June 30th, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs SB 712 “The Clean Waterways Act”

Governor Ron DeSantis made another historic step in Florida’s fight to protect water quality and conserve the state’s natural resources by signing Senate Bill (SB) 712. This bill carries a wide range of water quality protection provisions aimed at minimizing the impact of known sources of nutrient pollution, realigning the State’s resources to enhance the protection of Florida’s environment, and strengthening regulatory requirements.

View Press Release

Governor DeSantis Signed SB 712, Clean Waterways Act
June 30th, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs HB 1091

Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1091 that was passed unanimously during the 2020 Legislative Session. HB 1091 includes a 100% increase in penalties for sanitary sewer overflows and an across-the-board 50% increase for all other environmental fines. Governor DeSantis has made enforcement of the state’s environmental laws a top priority. “The department is grateful for the Governor’s and legislature’s commitment to environmental enforcement,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “These penalty increases will provide an additional tool for the department to enforce Florida’s environmental laws.”

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Water Quality Status
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is collaborating with other key agencies to monitor and report on water conditions, starting with some areas at greatest risk, to keep you informed on water quality and what you can do.