Posted on January 11, 2023
Following Tuesday’s announcement by Gov. Ron DeSantis that he is pledging $3.5 billion for water quality projects, including the Indian River Lagoon, residents on the Treasure Coast said they were pleased by the declaration.
The executive order establishes a protection program and secures at least $100 million each year for lagoon projects.
Another part is to protect and prioritize water quality projects and reduce nutrient contributions from all sources.
Capt. Frank Catino, a local fishing guide, said the order gives organizations the opportunity to start projects knowing the funding will be available.
“Brevard County did do a half cents sales tax but that type of funding is dictated on if voters will revote for it the next year,” Catino said. “Here is something permanent, the big dollars needed to do major projects.”
Catino hopes this funding will be a major step forward to restoring the lagoon to its natural form.
“People like to catch fish,” Catino said. “They like clean water, healthy water and so forth and this will continue letting people view the Indian River Lagoon, the Mosquito Lagoon as a very viable fishery.”
Catino said restoration efforts could take decades of work.
Lawmakers will likely consider the funding request during their upcoming legislative session in March. The GOP majority in the Florida Legislature has largely supported the governor’s agenda in the past.