Gov. DeSantis announces investments in Wildlife Corridor, red tide mitigation
Fern Hammock Spring. Photo Credit: Sarah Lockhart.

O2O Wildlife Corridor
For the second day in a row, DeSantis focused on environmental investments.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation to boost red tide research and direct funding toward expanding Florida’s Wildlife Corridor.

“With the investments we’re getting, we’re on our way to linking these areas so that we can promote safe and stabilized species movements,” DeSantis said.

The Governor signed the legislation in Naples, a region Senate President Kathleen Passidomo represents. Environmental investments had been chief priorities for Passidomo during the past two Legislative Sessions.

DeSantis at the event stressed the need to preserve Florida’s environment for future generations to enjoy. The announcements Tuesday came a day after DeSantis also promised a $1.5 billion investment in Everglades restoration and other water improvement projects.

In fighting red tide algal blooms, DeSantis signed mitigation legislation (HB 1565) extending a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and More Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to study prevention and mitigation technologies.

Since 2019, DeSantis said the state had invested more than $125 million to address both the blue-green algal blooms in South Florida’s freshwater rivers and red tide off Florida’s coasts.

The corridor was established through legislation in 2021. At this point, some 18 million acres of land are part of the corridor, including 10 million acres of protected conservation land, DeSantis said. That has grown with $1.4 billion in public land investment since 2019.

DeSantis noted updated agreements with the Seminole Tribe also made investment in the corridor possible. That allows for $100 million in fresh investment in lands.

“We have been very much of the belief since I became Governor that Florida’s success is tied to us being good stewards of our great natural resources here,” DeSantis said. “Part of that is it’s just the right thing to do. Part of that is there is such a positive economic impact that we get because we are a place that people want to come to fish and to boat and to enjoy our parks.”

He noted that outdoor recreation generated $52 billion annually for the state economy. That includes $3.6 billion from state parks alone.

Shawn Hamilton, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, said the long-term commitment has allowed the state to secure land rights from major property owners. He noted a recent approval by the Florida Cabinet of a 25,000-acre purchase. Officials from Barron Collier also spoke at the event about the partnership with the state for acquisitions.

“The Governor mentioned while working on these conservation goals and making sure that we’re protected in perpetuity, we’re also rising to the complex challenges of our water quality,” Hamilton said.

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].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 23, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    Red tide mitigation … because he thinks it’s a Communist wave right?

Comments are closed.


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