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HomeNewsworthyPress ReleaseGovernor Ron DeSantis Highlights Florida's Successful Efforts to Protect Florida's Manatees

Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Florida’s Successful Efforts to Protect Florida’s Manatees

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Press Release

By Florida Department of Environmental Protection Press Office

02-08-24

Since 2019, Florida has invested more than $50 million dedicated to 
manatee protection and care ~ORANGE CITY, Fla. — 


Today, Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted funding to protect Florida’s manatees and improve water quality while visiting Blue Spring State Park. In January, Blue Spring State Park saw a record 932 manatees seeking warm waters in the spring, beating their previous record on New Year’s Day of 736 manatees. Governor DeSantis has prioritized funding for manatees and water quality improvements that enhance manatee habitats, investing over $50 million in manatee programs and more than $1.8 billion in water quality improvements since 2019. As a result, in 2023, Florida manatees had the lowest mortality rate since 2017.“

Florida’s manatee population continues to strengthen because of our record investments in manatee protection programs and water quality improvements,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am grateful for FWC for their proactive rescue and rehabilitation efforts.”“

Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, over $30 million in the Fiscal Year 2022–2023 budget was allocated to enhance and expand manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts and provide habitat restoration for areas where manatees are highly concentrated,” said Roger Young, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “We are grateful for his continued dedication to providing resources for manatee care and rehabilitation.””

Clean, sustainable water resources are critical for Florida’s residents, visitors, economy and manatees,“ said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “Because of Governor DeSantis’ vision and leadership, along with the support of the Florida Legislature, the state is seeing incredible momentum for environmental protection to ensure Florida’s natural resources are preserved for generations to come.” 

Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has approved more than $50 million for manatee protection, expanding and enhancing manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts and providing habitat restoration for areas where manatees are highly concentrated. Additionally, Florida has invested $325 million to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs which serve as an important manatee habitat when the animals seek warmer waters in the wintertime.

Governor DeSantis has also prioritized investments in water quality across the state, approving more than $1.8 billion for water quality improvement projects since 2019. This includes more than $163 million dedicated to projects in the Indian River Lagoon on the east coast of Florida, which is home to thousands of manatees.

In the Governor’s Focus on Florida’s Future Budget Proposal, he has called for more than $330 million to continue targeted water quality improvements. This includes $100 million for a second year to continue the Indian River Lagoon protection program. Additionally, the Governor has proposed $9.5 million to continue Florida’s successful manatee protection programs.
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves. Visit the department’s website at FloridaDEP.gov.https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLDEP/bulletins/380ad19
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