DeSantis awards $275 million to communities tackling rising sea levels
by Jordan Kirkland | Feb 7, 2023
- Governor Ron DeSantis announced the award of more than $275 million immediately available for 75 resilience projects using already-appropriated funding through the Resilient Florida program.
- The Resilient Florida Grant Program helps prepare communities for the impacts of flooding and storm surge.
- The Legislature passed the comprehensive legislation in 2021, before DeSantis signed the program into law.
Governor Ron DeSantis awarded more than $275 million on Monday to bolster infrastructure in coastal and inland communities from flooding and storm surge.
“Under my administration, the state of Florida has invested an unprecedented level of funding, totaling more than $1.1 billion, to create or fortify infrastructure in Florida’s communities,” said DeSantis. “The projects announced today will ensure inland and coastal communities are prepared for the impacts of storm surge, hurricanes, and flooding, continuing our aggressive efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources and infrastructure.”
According to a news release, the funds will go towards 75 resilience projects using already-appropriated funding through the Resilient Florida program.
Resilient Florida Grant Program, which was signed into law in 2021, is aimed at protecting the state’s inland waterways, coastlines and shores.
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become a national leader in resilience action,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “Hurricanes Ian and Nicole illustrate just how crucial this investment is and will continue to be. This funding lays the critical foundation for the essential collaboration to successfully address the state’s most challenging resilience issues.”
On December 1, 2022, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) submitted the second preliminary Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan to the Governor and Legislature, which proposes funding for resilience and adaptation projects received from across the state.
The Governor’s Framework for Freedom Budget proposal includes $406 million for resilience to build upon the historic progress made over the past two years. The Governor’s recommendation includes $350 million for the implementation of statewide resilience projects and $56 million for resilience planning and coral reef protection.
“Governor DeSantis’ bold vision for a Resilient Florida is driving progress towards safer and more productive communities in an otherwise low-lying, storm-prone state,” added Chief Resilience Officer Wes Brooks. “These awards will fund critical actions across inland and coastal areas to adapt legacy infrastructure and implement nature-based solutions that address current and projected sea level rise and flooding to minimize adverse impacts on Floridians and their families.”