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Gov. DeSantis awards $404 million to environmental resiliency projects across Florida

The funds will include $30 million toward five projects in Pinellas County to improve living shorelines and wastewater infrastructure.

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Pinellas County Tuesday morning to announce more funding for environmental resiliency projects throughout Florida.

During a press conference at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, the governor awarded $404 million toward 113 resiliency projects across the state as part of the Resilient Florida Program.

"All these projects will enhance Florida's efforts to mitigate, prepare and reduce the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge for coastal and inland communities," DeSantis said.

Of those funds, $30 million will be dedicated to five projects in Pinellas County. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton joined the governor to break down the plans.

The money will go toward three living shoreline projects in Gulfport Marina, the city of Treasure Island, and Philippe Park. The remaining two projects will be for strengthening infrastructure for wastewater collection to “buffer these communities from sea-level rise and storm surge, address flooding, and fortify infrastructure to protect human health and safety," Hamilton said.

“What we're doing here today is historic. It’s historic because never before has the state of Florida or any state gone about protecting our coastline from flooding from sea level rise like we are in this bill," said House Speaker Chris Sprowls during the news conference.

On Monday, DeSantis called on the Biden administration to provide federal funding to help push forward the government's portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project.

DeSantis also asked the Biden administration to include at least $725 million in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request for Everglades restoration. 

According to the governor's office, Everglades restoration is a 50/50 partnership between Florida and the federal government. 

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