Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $20 million in resiliency grants on Tuesday for 98 projects through the Resilient Florida Grant Program.
Holding a press conference in Fort Myers Beach at Lover’s Key State Park, DeSantis touted the funding which will be given to 98 different projects to improve infrastructure in inland and coastal communities. The Governor also highlighted that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opened an online portal for new applicants seeking 2022-23 grants.
“For the first time, Florida has strategic coordination guiding statewide efforts to protect coastal and inland infrastructure, and dedicated funding to support these projects,” DeSantis said. “These grants will strengthen Florida’s infrastructure to withstand the impacts of flooding and storm surge. My administration will continue the momentum to support resilience in communities across the state.”
DeSantis noted that Lee County received grants totaling $582,000 — $383,000 for a county-wide vulnerability assessment, $124,000 for a city-wide vulnerability assessment in the city of Sanibel, and $75,000 for a flood vulnerability assessment in the city of Cape Coral.
Florida’s Resilient Florida Planning Program assists communities by collaborating with inland and coastal communities to protect against threats like hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters. In his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22, DeSantis recommended the creation of the Resilient Florida Grant Program to help prepare communities for the impacts of sea-level rise and flooding. The program was created last session with the passing of SB 1954, which was signed into law by DeSantis.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton praised DeSantis’ leadership and proactive approach to the environment.
“Today is another example of the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Legislature, and local governments in action across our state to tackle resilience,” said Hamilton. “These planning grants will provide critical information to better enhance and protect critical infrastructure from the impacts of sea-level rise, flooding and storm events, ensuring the safety and resilience of Florida communities.”
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 budget included significant funding — over $640 million — to increase efforts to ensure state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms and flooding. Today’s announcement follows the award of grants totaling over $404 million for 113 environmental resilience projects across the state, earlier this year.
In December, DeSantis announced the state’s first-ever Flooding Resilience Plan which proposes 76 projects across the state totaling over $270 million, which was fully funded during the 2022 legislative session.
Governor DeSantis provides more than $20 million in Resilient Florida Planning Grants to aid Florida’s coastal and inland communities. https://t.co/8Cd35JyKME
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 3, 2022