What They Are Saying…Florida’s Environmental and Community Leaders Applaud 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” Budget

June 24, 2015

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson said,“The ‘Keep Florida Working’ budget provides vital funding that will help us protect the land and water resources that our economy and quality of life depend on. Thanks to Governor Scott’s continued commitment to environmental protection, including Everglades restoration and springs protection, we will be able to focus on projects that benefit our natural resources and communities.”

Temperince Morgan, executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Floridasaid, “We appreciate the level of funding for land management committed by the Governor and Florida Legislature. This investment in Florida’s land resources will support prescribed fire and invasive plant management activities that are critical for protecting the health of Florida’s conservation lands. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and Legislature to ensure sufficient, sustainable funding for land protection and Everglades restoration.”

Ed Fielding, chair of the Martin County Board of County Commissioners and chair of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program said, “We deeply appreciate Governor Scott’s support of the Indian River Lagoon Clean-up program. We have come together with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida and St. Johns River water management districts and our local partners, and we remain united in our intent to help restore the Indian River Lagoon.”

Dan O’Keefe, chairman of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board said, “Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature continue to demonstrate their commitment to the restoration and protection of Florida’s one-of-a-kind Everglades ecosystem. This funding will allow us to provide substantial benefits to the South Florida ecosystem by supporting key water resource projects.”

Ed Hunzeker, county administrator, Manatee County said, “We are extremely pleased that the Governor and the Florida Legislature recognize the importance of our beaches to our community. Our beautiful beaches not only enhance tourism and attract local beachgoers, but also serve as a buffer for upland structures during storm events and protect dune vegetation. Support for the Cortez Beach Project, already under construction, will help keep fresh sand stocked along Cortez beach for many years to come.”

Lee County Commission Chair Brian Hamman said, “The state funding assists with water quality projects that will help Lee County meet its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards – water quality standards set by the state. Lee County already has invested time and dollars in these seven projects, and it’s encouraging to receive help from the state for our long-term objective of cleaner water in the Caloosahatchee River.”

Okaloosa County Administrator John Hosftad said, “We are very appreciative of Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for supporting the Okaloosa County/Elgin/ Niceville Reclaimed Water Project. This reclaimed water project will benefit both our military and local communities.”

City of Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer said, “Long-term, the health of Lake Apopka is crucial to the future of our community. Any and all efforts to help restore the lake are truly appreciated. I am grateful that these allocated funds will help Lake Apopka.”

Astrida Trupovnieks, senior manager with the city of Ocala said, “We are thrilled that Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature support these important projects to protect Silver Springs. As Ocala sits right on the wellhead for the springs, these projects will offer benefits to the spring that will have positive impacts that we will see within 12 months.”

Don Philpott, president of Friends of Florida State Parks said, “The funding in the 2015-16 budget will help fund vital improvements to our award-winning state parks and safeguard the natural and cultural resources protected within them.”

Ann Shortelle, executive director of the St. Johns River Water Management District said, “We thank the Governor and Legislature for their continued financial support for springs protection. Our springs are vital to our quality of life, economy and our natural systems. This funding will help put projects in the ground to reduce nutrient loading and protect spring flows.”

David C. Jones, president, Florida Disabled Outdoors Association said, “We are pleased that this year’s budget will enable significant improvements to the accessibility of our state parks so that more individuals will be able to enjoy their beauty and recreational opportunities.”

For additional details on the Governor’s “Keep Florida Working” Budget for FY 2015-2016, visit http://www.keepfloridaworking.com/.

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