Speaking at Port Everglades in Hollywood, Governor Ron DeSantis announced an $80 million investment toward infrastructure and stormwater resilience for Florida’s most vulnerable coastal communities, aiming to mitigate the damages cities have faced following heavy rainfall and flooding.
DeSantis stated $16.6 million of the investment will go to Broward County for a water drainage system while $14.8 million will go to the city of Hallandale Beach for sewer system modernization. The city of Miami received the largest share of the money, with just under $40 million financing a pair of projects.
“As a storm-prone state, we need to make sure we’re mitigating the effects of these weather events, and so we enacted last legislative session a resilient Florida program, that is if you look at what we’re going to do this legislative session, we’re going to have over a billion dollars to work with local communities,” said DeSantis
Environmental protections played a large role in the shaping of DeSantis’ ‘Freedom First’ budget, putting over $1 billion for environmental expenditures including $660 million toward Everglades restoration, $50 million for Florida springs restoration, $35 million to tackle harmful algal blooms, and an overall increase in spending amounting to $550 million.
DeSantis stated the money will be available through Resilient Florida, a program put in place earlier this year that aims to prepare communities for the impacts of climate change.
“The $1 billion price tag is a $550 million increase when compared to this year’s spending, DeSantis said. “I think that will make us more able to handle some extreme weather events and help to handle flooding, all these other things I think are really, really important.”
DeSantis additionally touted the success of opening Florida’s ports to an increased capacity in late 2021, stating that ships redirected from California and Savannah, Georgia.
“We’re happy to be here at Port Everglades, we’ve made big investments at the state level into Florida’s ports,” DeSantis said. “Including in the last year $58 million here for Port Everglades. I think some of you may remember we had John down, up to Jacksonville, we did a big announcement just saying ‘we’ve invested in our ports, we have the capacity,’ you see all those ships in California or Savannah, we want them to come to Florida.”
DeSantis claims that since the investment and announcement, Port Everglades experienced a 15% increase in the volume of ships docking at the port.