Timeline

November 8th, 2019
Governor Ron DeSantis visited the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area

The C-44 Reservoir will store 50,000 acre-feet of water, including local basin runoff and Lake Okeechobee releases. This will reduce harmful releases reaching the St. Lucie Estuary that can fuel harmful algal blooms. The C-44 STA will treat the water stored in the reservoir before it is released into the estuary.

Governor DeSantis Activates C-44 Stormwater Treatment Area

Governor Ron DeSantis visited the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) site to highlight Everglades restoration and activate the pumps which began the process of filling the manmade wetland with water. The C-44 STA will remove harmful nutrients and provide regional water quality benefits. Joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), conservation groups, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local community leaders, Governor DeSantis celebrated this important Everglades restoration project as water filled the wetland.

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November 5th, 2019
Governor, First Lady and Noah Valenstein announce dashboard launch

The initial version of the Protecting Florida Together water quality status map focuses on blue-green algae, red tide and nutrient concentrations in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and their respective estuaries, and Lake Okeechobee. Additional features will include an expanded statewide map to be added over the next year.

Governor DeSantis and First Lady Join DEP, DOH and FWC to Launch First-Ever Comprehensive Water Quality Dashboard

Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis held events in Fort Myers and Stuart to announce the launch of ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov, the state’s first-ever comprehensive water quality dashboard. The Governor and First Lady were joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, Chief Science Officer Dr. Thomas Frazer, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director Eric Sutton, Congressman Brian Mast and other environmental stakeholders.

October 25th, 2019

Governor DeSantis Breaks Ground on Embankments and Canals to Complete the C-43 Reservoir

Governor Ron DeSantis visited the site of the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir to break ground on the embankments and canals to complete this important Everglades restoration project. The Governor was joined by members of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as well as conservation groups, local community leaders and other environmental stakeholders.

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October 23rd, 2019

Governor DeSantis Announces Removal of Tamiami Trail Roadbed

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a permit to the Department of Interior’s National Park Service, Everglades National Park, for the removal of 5.45 miles of roadbed along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41). This critical project is a component of the larger Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), which also includes the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project. CEPP will provide the necessary components to deliver additional freshwater from Lake Okeechobee south to Water Conservation Area 3, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. Bridging Tamiami Trail remains one of Governor DeSantis’ priority Everglades restoration projects.

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October 22nd, 2019

Governor DeSantis and Florida Cabinet Take Action to Expedite Construction of EAA Reservoir Project

Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet took action to expedite construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project. During today’s meeting of the Governor and Cabinet, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund approved the early termination of a state lease with Florida Crystals on lands needed for the EAA Reservoir Project.

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October 17th, 2019

Environmental Leaders Praise Governor DeSantis’ Legislation to Expedite Water Quality Improvements

View the full press release to see what state officials and environmental stakeholders are saying about the announcement.

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October 16th, 2019

Governor DeSantis Announces Legislation to Expedite Water Quality Improvements

Governor Ron DeSantis announced proposed legislation for the 2020 Legislative Session that will expedite water quality improvements throughout Florida. The legislation incorporates recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, which the Governor created shortly after taking office to aid DEP in protecting, conserving and managing the state’s natural resources.

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October 12th, 2019

Blue-Green Algae Task Force Comes to Consensus on First Set of Water Quality Improvement Recommendations

The Blue-Green Algae Task Force met and approved its first set of recommendations to address water quality and harmful algal blooms. The Blue-Green Algae Task Force is an advisory body, appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, to aid the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in fulfilling its mission to protect, conserve and manage the state’s natural resources and enforce its environmental laws. The task force, through its discussion and deliberations, provides guidance and specific, science-based recommendations with the goal of expediting improvements and restoration of Florida’s water bodies that have been adversely affected by blue-green algae blooms.

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October 3rd, 2019

Governor DeSantis Announces Early Termination of the lease on Lands Needed for Construction of the EAA Reservoir

Governor DeSantis, the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced the early termination of the Florida Crystals Lease for the stormwater treatment area (STA) component of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project. The termination of this lease on the STA footprint is an important step as it is critical for the necessary access for site preparation and will allow the District to meet its expected construction schedule.

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September 23rd, 2019

DEP Announces Opportunities to Expand Water Quality Restoration Efforts

DEP announces new opportunities for all public and private parties to help expand the state's water quality restoration efforts. In light of the Executive Order signed by Governor DeSantis just 48 hours after taking office, which prioritized science-based solutions and immediate action to implement water quality improvement projects, DEP is embarking on an expanded public solicitation process to identify projects for future funding opportunities.

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September 11th, 2019

Governor DeSantis Requests $625 Million in Recurring Funds for Everglades Restoration and Protection of Water Resources

This funding will meet the $2.5 billion goal outlined in the Governor’s Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget. The Governor also announced his support for legislation to increase fines for environmental crimes by 50 percent across the board. The legislation will also empower DEP to assess daily fines until the environmental harm has been remedied or a plan has been developed.

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August 7th, 2019
Python Removal Efforts To Protect The Greater Everglades

Pythons decimate other animal populations, disturbing Florida’s delicate ecosystems and threatening the biodiversity in the Everglades and surrounding areas.

Python Removal Efforts To Protect The Greater Everglades

Governor Ron DeSantis joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to announce new efforts to remove pythons from the Greater Everglades.

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August 2nd, 2019
Governor Ron Desantis Announces Appointments To The Red Tide Task Force

Governor Ron Desantis Announces Appointments To The Red Tide Task Force

Secretary Valenstein joined the Governor for the announcement of 11 expert researchers to the recently reorganized Red Tide Task Force.

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August 1st, 2019

Governor Ron Desantis Announces Dr. Julia Nesheiwat As Florida’s First Chief Resilience Officer

Governor DeSantis has announced the appointment of Dr. Julia Nesheiwat as Florida's first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO).

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July 11th, 2019

New DEP Environmental Crimes Unit Makes First Arrest

In the first arrest by the new DEP Environmental Crimes Unit, a Tampa resident was charged with felony dumping for commercial purposes. A DEP Southwest District Office investigator found video evidence of the suspect dumping two drums of a corrosive material into a Tampa alley.

June 25th, 2019

Record Investments For Florida’s Environment

Governor Ron DeSantis visited Audobon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples to highlight record environmental funding in his Bold Vision for a Brighter Future state budget.

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Governor Desantis Signs Hb 5401

"Governor DeSantis has continued to make it very clear that it is his expectation that Florida’s environmental laws are enforced,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “We are committed to carrying out this directive and are pleased to have this additional tool to do more for Florida’s environment now.”

Governor Desantis Signs Hb 5401

Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 5401. The bill implements the directive in Executive Order 19-12, to transfer the Environmental Crimes Unit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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June 21st, 2019
Bold Vision For A Brighter Future Budget Signed

The budget supports major reforms implemented by Governor DeSantis in Executive Order 19-12 to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water resources. Most notably, it includes more than the $625 million the Governor requested for Everglades restoration and initiatives to protect the state’s water resources.

Bold Vision For A Brighter Future Budget Signed

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Bold Vision for a Brighter Future state budget for fiscal year 2019-2020.

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June 3rd, 2019
Full Funding For Critical Tamiami Trail Project

"This announcement today is great news for Everglades Restoration and water quality in Florida,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “With the Governor’s leadership and federal partnership, we will be able to complete critical water projects like the Tamiami Trail Bridge Project, and continue expediting our efforts to do more for Florida’s environment now.”

Full Funding For Critical Tamiami Trail Project

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that full funding has been secured to complete the project to elevate the Tamiami Trail. The U.S. Department of Transportation has matched the state of Florida’s $40 million for the Tamiami Trail by awarding an additional $60 million to fully fund and allow for the completion of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps Phase II project, which is critical to the Governor’s plan to preserve the environment.

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May 28th, 2019
Discussion On Water Challenges In Florida And Israel

Topics discussed by roundtable participants ranged from water quantity, including reuse and innovative technology to 21st century infrastructure like leak detection and mitigation technology. Panelists also discussed technologies to improve water quality and creating a culture of water ethics focused on conservation and sustainability.

Discussion On Water Challenges In Florida And Israel

Governor Ron DeSantis and DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein led a roundtable discussion on water challenges in Florida and the contributions that Israeli technologies could lend to ongoing water management efforts.

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May 7th, 2019
Bold Vision For Protecting Florida’s Environment

The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein.

Bold Vision For Protecting Florida’s Environment

Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science regarding his bold vision to protect Florida’s environment.

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Historic Investment In Everglades Restoration And Water Resources

On Governor DeSantis’ second full day in office, he issued Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality.

Historic Investment In Everglades Restoration And Water Resources

Governor Ron DeSantis and environmental leaders reflected on the Florida Legislature’s work in providing historic funding toward Everglades restoration and Florida’s water resources.

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April 30th, 2019
St. Johns Tour Of Algal Bloom

St. Johns Tour Of Algal Bloom

DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein joined St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle, St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman and agency water quality experts to examine an active algal bloom on the lower St. Johns River and to discuss nutrient reduction and remediation projects.

April 29th, 2019
Blue-Green Algae Task Force Appointments

Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointments of five expert researchers and leading scientists to the newly established Blue-Green Algae Task Force. The Governor was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein.

Blue-Green Algae Task Force Appointments

The focus of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force is to support key funding and restoration initiatives and make recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. The Task Force will identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding.

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April 22nd, 2019
Super Bowl Liv Environmental Initiative Ocean To Everglades

The initiative is a partnership between the host committee, NFL Green, Ocean Conservancy and The Everglades Foundation to raise awareness and reduce the environmental impact of the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LIV Environmental Initiative Ocean To Everglades

Governor Ron DeSantis joined the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee to help launch Ocean to Everglades (O2E), the Super Bowl LIV environmental initiative.

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April 16th, 2019
Governor Outlines Environmental Priorities At The University Of Florida

The Governor was joined by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, Chief Science Officer designee Dr. Tom Frazer, and University of Florida President Dr. Kent Fuchs.

Governor Outlines Environmental Priorities At The University Of Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis participated in a roundtable discussion outlining his environmental priorities regarding $625 million for Everglades restoration, the appointment of a Chief Science Officer, and a strategic plan to combat blue-green algae blooms and red tide.

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April 3rd, 2019
Governor Attends Captains For Clean Water Skiff Challenge

During the Captains for Clean Water Skiff Challenge, skiff manufacturers put their boats and best teams to the ultimate endurance test, circumnavigating the state of Florida in a nonstop race from Pensacola to Jacksonville, a total of 1,300 miles.

Governor Attends Captains For Clean Water Skiff Challenge

Governor Ron DeSantis, joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, spoke at the Captains for Clean Water Skiff Challenge, an annual test of endurance in which teams circumnavigate the state to highlight the need to protect Florida’s water quality, Everglades and environment.

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April 1st, 2019
Governor Appoints Dr. Thomas K. Frazer As Chief Science Officer

Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas K. Frazer as Florida’s first Chief Science Officer.

Governor Appoints Dr. Thomas K. Frazer As Chief Science Officer

In his newly created role at DEP, Frazer will lead the effort to ensure sound science is at the forefront of the mission to achieve more now for Florida’s environment.

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March 15th, 2019
DEP-Joins-First-Lady

The release included approximately 2,000 juvenile fish and 30 adult redfish.

DEP Joins First Lady For Red Tide Recovery Redfish Release

First Lady Casey DeSantis led a red tide recovery effort in Collier County with the shoreline release of more than 2,000 redfish. FWC, Duke Energy and Coastal Conservation Association Florida have joined forces to address the decline in redfish numbers along the southwest coast as a result of red tide.

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March 8th, 2019

Chief Science Officer Applications

DEP closed a worldwide search for the Chief Science Officer and received 34 applications.

February 21st, 2019
Environmental Event

Naples and Stuart, Florida

Environmental Event

Governor Desantis appoints three key members to the South Florida Water Management District Board.

February 19th, 2019

Dep Meets With U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

DEP participated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public meeting regarding updates to the Lake Okeechobee Release Schedule.

Established Blue-Green Algae Task Force

DEP established the Blue-Green Algae Task Force and initiated search to select members, including sending letters to state universities to encourage Florida’s academic leaders to participate.

February 15th, 2019
Appointment Of Dep Secretary Noah Valenstein

Appointment Of Dep Secretary Noah Valenstein

Governor DeSantis appointed Noah Valenstein as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, which was unanimously confirmed by the Florida Cabinet.

February 13th, 2019

Dep Directs Water Management Districts On Priorities

DEP directed each Water Management District to prioritize its budget to reflect the vision laid out by Governor DeSantis in his Executive Order and to increase collaboration, transparency and accountability.

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February 11th, 2019
Letter to POTUS

Letter To President Trump

Governor DeSantis, along with U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting the prioritization of the $200 million annual commitment from the Federal Government for its portion of Everglades Restoration.

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February 8th, 2019
Letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Governor DeSantis sent a letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Andrew Kelly requesting that the USACE engage with stakeholders throughout South Florida as they make updates to Lake Okeechobee management tools that affect release schedules.

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February 6th, 2019
DEP Secretary Meets Congressional Delegation

Washington, D.C.

DEP Secretary Meets Congressional Delegation

Secretary Valenstein spoke with legislative partners about the agency’s priorities and how they will be implemented through Governor DeSantis’ Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget. Secretary Valenstein addressed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources meeting, as well as, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government meeting. The Secretary broke down the recommended $625 million for Florida’s water resources into four categories: Everglades restoration, targeted water quality improvements, springs restoration and alternative water supply. Additionally, he highlighted the impact that data, enforcement and partnerships have on protecting Florida’s natural resources. Investing in these initiatives will achieve more now for Florida’s environment.

Request to Reverse Oil Drilling Permit

DEP filed a Motion for Rehearing and a Request to Certify the case to the Florida Supreme Court regarding the recent opinion reversing the department’s decision to deny the Kanter Real Estate exploratory oil drilling permit in the Everglades.

February 1st, 2019
New Chief Resiliency Officer

DEP began searching for individuals for the Governor to consider.

New Chief Resiliency Officer

Governor DeSantis announced he would appoint a Chief Resiliency Officer to be housed in the Executive Office of the Governor.

January 29th, 2019
SFWMD Board Appointments

Naples and Fort Lauderdale, Florida

SFWMD Board Appointments

Governor Desantis announces his intent to appoint two key leaders to the South Florida Water Management District Board.

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January 25th, 2019
Agencies Initiate Partnership

Agencies Initiate Partnership

Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Economic Opportunity and VISIT FLORIDA have initiated work to increase green infrastructure collaboration.

January 10th, 2019
Water Policy Reforms Announcement

Bonita Springs, Sarasota and Stuart, Florida

Water Policy Reforms Announcement

Governor Desantis meets with stakeholders and announced the Executive Order directing DEP and Florida's water management districts to take immediate, strategic action to achieve more now for Florida's environment.

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$4 Billion to Protect Environment

This budget recommendation includes an unprecedented $360 million for Everglades Restoration.

$4 Billion to Protect The Environment

Governor DeSantis recommended to the Legislature a more than $4 billion investment to protect our environment, agriculture and natural resources, including nearly $1.9 billion specifically for the DEP.

South Florida WMD Board

South Florida WMD Board

Governor DeSantis requested the resignations of South Florida Water Management District Board Members and has since appointed eight new members.

Secretary Valenstein Meets with Stakeholders

Secretary Valenstein Meets with Stakeholders, Local Officials in Bonita Springs to Discuss Environmental Priorities

Secretary Valenstein joined environmental stakeholders and local officials in Bonita Springs to discuss environmental priorities outlined in Governor DeSantis’ executive order, which calls for immediate, strategic action to achieve more now for Florida's environment. 

Executive Order Issued

Water and natural resources are the foundation of Florida’s communities, economy and way of life and we must work together to take action to restore and protect the environment.

Executive Order Issued

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.

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