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Conservation Remains Priority In Governor Ron DeSantis’ Focus On Florida’s Future Budget

Conservation Remains Priority in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the proposed Fiscal 2024-2025 Focus on Florida’s Future Budget, solidifying his commitment to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) mission to protect Florida’s natural resources. The budget will help provide Floridians with more opportunities to get outdoors and high-priority conservation items including coral reef restoration, derelict vessel removal and habitat restoration initiatives. 

“Thank you to Governor DeSantis for your commitment to our fish and wildlife resources,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “Florida is known worldwide as the Fishing and Boating Capital of the World, and because of the Governor’s support, we will continue to provide opportunities for residents and visitors.” 

The Governor’s proposed budget includes over $11.3 million and three new positions for initiatives supporting “Go Outdoors Florida,” which is FWC’s official licensing and permitting operation for hunting and fishing across the state. Getting more Floridians outdoors has been a top priority of the Governor and earlier this year, the Governor announced the Great Outdoors Initiative and signed an Executive Order to reduce the price of state park passes and FWC sportsman hunting and fishing licenses by 50%. This initiative has had record success and discounts will last through Jan. 13, 2024. To learn more, visit FloridaStateParks.org/Learn/Great-Outdoors-Initiative

Additional budget highlights include:

  • $1.3 million and seven new positions for coral reef restoration and recovery.
  • $1.3 million and five new positions for statewide oyster and habitat resiliency enhancements.
  • $7 million for boating access and improvement projects.
  • $24.3 million for habitat restoration initiatives.
  • Over $500,000 and four new positions for enhanced harmful algal bloom response.
  • $12.8 million and four new positions for land management activities.
  • $4.7 million for 12 new law enforcement positions for patrol and investigation.
  • $7.6 million for derelict vessel removal.
  • More than $350,000 for initiatives intended to enhance the resiliency of saltwater fisheries.
  • $600,000 for artificial reefs.

To learn more about the FWC and its programs, visit MyFWC.com.

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