Kamala Harris announces $78.7M in Florida projects to fight climate change

kamala harris (Large)
The money will be spent statewide.

The Vice President is taking advantage of Ron DeSantis’ travel schedule to make a point about climate change.

Kamala Harris picked a week when the Florida Governor was most everywhere but Florida, including in Washington D.C., to visit Miami to roll out $78.7 million in spending for 16 climate change initiatives affecting the Sunshine State.

The money will come from the Commerce Department and will be administered by NOAA, via the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting and enhancing the diverse coastal habitats and wildlife that make Florida an engaging tourist destination and great place to raise a family,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “We are proud to recommend more than $78 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and funding leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act, to create good paying jobs and a climate-ready coast in Florida.”

“Florida’s elaborate coral reefs, vast shorelines, and national marine sanctuary attract thousands of environmental enthusiasts each year,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “These vital investments will help preserve and protect the natural wonders of Florida for future generations to enjoy.”

The Florida Democratic Party didn’t miss the context: historic flooding in Fort Lauderdale and the rest of the region.

“Waterways are essential to our economy and way of life here in Florida,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “This investment from the Biden-Harris administration will give our communities access to clean water, and the resources needed to effectively combat the effects of climate change, ensuring that our shores and beaches are around for generations to come.”

The projects, which cover the entire state, are listed below, with explanations of what they do from the Biden administration.

  • Sarasota County Alligator Creek Stream Restoration
    Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners: $14.5 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Sea level rise and flooding are affecting Florida’s coastal communities and economies. This investment will restore stream and shoreline habitat to create a floodplain that is more resilient to sea level rise and  improve fish habitat.  Local communities such as the City of Venice will benefit from increased protection from flooding and enhanced recreational opportunities.
  • Perdido Watershed Habitat and Community Resilience Initiative: Incorporating Nature-based and Hybrid Solutions Across Alabama and Florida
    The Nature Conservancy: $12.8 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    This large-scale, multi-site effort will build climate resilience by restoring habitat that benefits recreational and commercial fisheries, thereby enhancing recreational opportunities; buffering communities from flooding and storm impacts; and improving water quality. Work will be done at sites in Alabama and Florida which are part of the Perdido Watershed Habitat and Community Resilience Initiative.
  • Pensacola Bay System Oyster Restoration Initiative
    Escambia County Board of County Commissioners: $10.9 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Oysters are among the most valuable of Florida’s seafood products and this estuary-scale restoration project will invest in the design and initial construction of 1,000 acres of oyster habitat restoration. Assessing sediment loads, initiating upstream sediment sources, and providing funding assistance to property owners to encourage creation of living shorelines and other nature-based solutions are also included in this investment. This project is in partnership with the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program.
  • Pathways to Transformative Ecological Restoration of Florida’s Coral Reef
    Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium: $7 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Coral reefs are integral to South Florida’s culture and economy, and the reef tract is a valuable asset in mitigating damage from hurricanes, sea level rise, and coastal erosion. This project will restore coral reefs at multiple Mission: Iconic Reef sites in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary by planting thousands of coral fragments of multiple species, including Endangered Species Act-listed staghorn and elkhorn corals, as well as massive reef-building corals (such as brain, boulder, and star corals).
  • Multi-Site Coral Reef Restoration to Build Resilient Communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    Coral Restoration Foundation: $6.9 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Investments in coral reef restoration will help provide coastal protection, enhance fisheries, and support recreation and tourism economies across Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This project will help rebuild populations of five Endangered Species Act-listed corals at multiple sites, including reefs associated with ongoing NOAA efforts in these areas. The project’s outreach and education activities will engage Girl Scouts, student interns, and the local community by building on an established outreach program.
  • Critical Conservation for Climate Resilience in the Northeast Florida Blueway
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection: $6 million 
    Funding Source: Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This award will fund the acquisition of a portion of the remaining 10,976 acres of the 73,400-acre Northeast Florida Blueway project, which is part of the Florida Forever Program’s Climate Change Lands. Most of the acquisition is within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve and will protect and maintain the waters and shoreline plant communities of the Tolomato and Matanzas Rivers, which provide critical habitat for 14 federally listed species of plants and animals.
  • Gulf of Mexico Community-based Oyster Recycling and Reef Restoration Network
    Restore America’s Estuaries: $4.9 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants  
    This project will restore oyster reef habitat at sites across the Gulf of Mexico region. Restaurants from around the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas will participate in a comprehensive oyster shell recycling program to help build oyster reefs that provide habitat for a diverse group of species, including recreationally and commercially important fish and their prey. Shell recycling programs and oyster reef restoration sites will be designed to serve local ecosystem and community resilience needs, with an emphasis on tribes and underserved communities.
  • Henderson Creek Hydrologic Restoration Project
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection: $3.9 million 
    Funding Source: National Estuarine Research Reserve System Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
    This award will fund restoration of hydrologic sheet flow and related hydrologic regimes within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Collier County, Florida. The project will increase habitat resilience against future climate change impacts by enhancing wildlife habitat, hydrologic connectivity, wildlife corridor connectivity, water quality, and preservation of stormwater receiving areas that help prevent flooding in local communities.
  • Hogans Creek Restoration Design Project
    Groundwork Jacksonville: $2.9 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    This investment will support planning efforts to restore wetland and upland habitats along Hogans Creek, which will ultimately include removing culverts and daylighting sections of the creek that run underground. This work will create habitat for species such as sturgeon, shrimp, crabs, and red drum and is one of the top two flood reduction priorities for the City of Jacksonville.
  • McCoys Creek Restoration Construction – The Branches
    Groundwork Jacksonville: $2.8 million 
    Funding Source: Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants
    Restoring natural habitats like wetlands and forested areas along creeks are an important way to reduce flooding in urban areas. This project has been identified as a top flood reduction priority by the City of Jacksonville’s and will eliminate or reduce flooding for homes and other structures in adjacent neighborhoods. This investment will also increase and enhance green space as part of the Emerald Trail system, improve stream water quality, and support community engagement through an expansion of the existing Community Restoration Environmental Stewardship Training program.
  • Tampa Bay Tire Cleanup
    Pinellas County Government: $2.2 million 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    This project will remove more than 200,000 tires from Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico that were placed in the 1960s-1980s as artificial reefs.
  • Understanding, Mitigation and Prevention of Waste Plastic Marine Debris in the Gulf Coast
    Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium: $1.9 million 
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Challenge Competition 
    The burgeoning problem of microplastics will be addressed through a multi-state partnership including 10 wastewater treatment facilities in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The project aims to improve microplastic understanding, develop microplastic reduction techniques, measure microplastic concentration, and enhance collaboration around addressing microplastics in Gulf Coast communities, specifically urban communities, communities that are predominantly Black, and rural, isolated communities.
  • Operation TRAP (Trash Reduction for Aquatic Preserves)
    University of Florida: $747,000
    Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
    This project will install trash capture devices, litter booms, and monofilament collection bins to intercept litter in partnership with local governments and state aquatic preserves in Pasco and Levy Counties. The project will also develop a toolkit on the implementation of litter interception technologies for municipalities, which will allow the program to expand into other counties.
  • Capacity Expansion to Support Habitat Restoration and Resilience in the Gullah Geechee Corridor  
    Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor: $536,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities
    The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor will create new staff positions to expand their work creating a plan for restoration and resilience across the Corridor, which stretches from North Carolina through Florida. The new positions will help build relationships between restoration organizations and Gullah Geechee communities, identify the resilience priorities of community members, and form local advisory committees to support future restoration efforts.
  • Your Shores: Coastal Habitat Restoration Upward Bound Math and Science Program
    Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science: $497,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities
    The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will restore coastal habitat in northern Miami-Dade County while providing high school students with paid, immersive opportunities in the restoration field. Students will receive training and hands-on experience in restoring coral reefs, mangroves, and beach dunes in Haulover Park, one of the longest remaining stretches of undeveloped beachfront in the county.
  • North Port Saint Joe Stormwater Management
    City of Port St. Joe: $280,000
    Funding Source: Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities
    The City of Port St. Joe, Florida, will gather critical data needed to finalize the design for  nature-based solutions to address frequent flooding impacting homes and infrastructure in the North Port St. Joe neighborhood. They will engage community members and partners in understanding the study’s findings and their implications for designing future restoration projects.

Staff Reports


  • Joy

    April 22, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    We are NOT impressed. Give Floridians a check we already pickup trash from people from other states….we got this.

    • Kenneth C Kovar

      April 24, 2023 at 10:18 pm

      Why they call it FloridDUH. DerSantis is intent on destroying the ecology and economics of Florida. This admin has had our backs a lot, don’t deny it. Wake up and smell the red tide team Repressives

  • Arlene Tuck

    April 23, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    Don’t take Democrats money.

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 25, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      If you don’t take Democrats money, who do you take money from? Russia? Red states don’t have two taxpayers nickels to rub together. It’s not like the MAGA people will actually work. Ronald Reagan warned of welfare queens, and they are MAGA.

Comments are closed.


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