Sprinkle List: Southwest Florida environmental efforts land $3M
Storm clouds gather over the Everglades.

Southwest Florida
Wastewater plants and restoration projects pulled in plenty.

The wetlands, shorelines and rivers of Southwest Florida are flooded with budget sprinkles. The House and Senate included substantial funding for environmental projects benefitting the region.

The environment and water quality drew most of the supplemental dollars headed to the Bradenton-to-Naples region.

The largest single budget item showered on the area goes to Everglades City, where the state provided $2,340,160 for replacement of wastewater treatment facilities. The municipality has faced a litany of issues with its sewer systems. This funding came courtesy of Senate supplemental funding initiatives released Monday evening.

Along the same lines, the Senate directed $312,500 toward a Cape Coral Caloosahatchee-Reclaimed Water Transmission Main, as did the House. The Sanibel sewer expansion will also pull in $375,000 in supplemental funding.

In nearby Fort Myers, the Senate budgeted $350,000 for a design-build phase of the Midtown Urban Infill Development Water Quality Initiative, which aims to modernize stormwater infrastructure.

Another $308,000 was included for the Caloosahatchee River Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration.

Further north, $250,000 will help out with flood prevention improvements in Holmes Beach in Manatee County. Another $250,000 will support the Longboat Key Subaqueous Wastewater Force Main.

And $50,000 was budgeted in the Senate to support the Dona Bay Watershed Restoration Project in Sarasota County. That intends to boost aquifer recharge.

The Senate also directed $100,000 toward Belle Glade Lake Okeechobee Watershed Area Stormwater Conveyance Improvements directly south of Lake Okeechobee.

On a social services angle, AMIKids Prevention and Family Therapy services pulled in $250,000 in supplemental funding from the House.

There’s other significant funding for the region, including $3 million for an intensive reading initiative with a pilot program that includes Collier and Highlands counties, along with LaFayette, Pasco and St. Johns schools outside the region.

Another education-focused allocation came with a $778,497 grant for Easterseals Southwest Florida vocational training, employment services and education.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]



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