SARASOTA, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop in Sarasota on Friday morning to talk about efforts to protect one of the city's most valuable assets — its coastline.
"The continued vitality of that state really does require us to be focusing on key infrastructure improvements," he said.
That's why DeSantis is awarding $10 million toward resiliency efforts in the city of Sarasota.
The money will go toward three main projects, the governor explained. The first is raising Van Wezel Way, "which is an essential roadway for the area but is currently subject to flooding during hurricanes and other significant rain events."
Money will also be put toward restoring the natural flow and water quality of Hog Creek, a 0.2-mile river located within the Sarasota Bay Watershed. As DeSantis explained, the project will aim to remove certain nutrients in the water that could contribute to red tide outbreaks.
The third project the governor mentioned is improving the shoreline at Bay Park to protect the area from erosion and damage caused by flooding.
Bay Park currently has a master plan in the city to revitalize bayfront mangroves and wetlands while creating sitting areas, pedestrian walkways and eventually a boardwalk.
DeSantis was joined by Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle, who spoke about the long-lasting impacts they hope these projects will have.
"This $10 million is gonna do wonders for this community, not only for resiliency for future storms, but the economic and cultural impact…is going to be monumental for generations to come," Eagle said.
Sarasota Mayor Erik Arroyo echoed this sentiment, adding, "This environmental impact is multigenerational — it’s historic. It’s something that our kids and our kids' kids and our great-grandkids will be able to benefit from."