Governor Rick Scott Announces Distribution of Over $82 Million for Springs Restoration Projects Across Florida

Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Departments of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Florida Water Management Districts (FWMD) have approved 26 springs projects to receive the highest budget amount ever for Florida springs on Monday.

The restoration plan (management plan), was created to provide improvements in nutrition control and agricultural practices.  

“Florida’s 900 freshwater springs bring families, visitors and job creators to our state. Over the last three years, we have invested record funding for Florida’s springs, and the projects we are announcing today will ensure our springs are protected for future generations to enjoy,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a press release.

The 2015-2016 “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget received more than $40 million along with $41.8 million in matching funds at the state and local level.

The investment in springs’ projects resulted in more than $82 million of projects this year.

“…Combining efforts and resources with local governments, stakeholders and the water management districts enables us to take a more comprehensive and efficient approach to springs protection,” DEP Secretary Jon Steverson said in a written statement.

The 26 statewide projects include: Tampa, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Panama City and Tallahassee.

According to a Florida Government press release, a total investment of more than $17.87 million for six projects in the Tallahassee area include central sewer connection, land acquisition and improved management practice projects.

Under the oversight of Scott’s, Florida’s water management districts are also making progress in establishing minimum flows and levels for Florida’s springs. These are designed to protect and restore spring flows and the natural systems they support.

Ashlyn Ford, third-year FAMU environmental science student from Alexandria, Va., believes that the investment will be useful, but she questions its longevity.

“In a way I think these investments are helpful, but in another sense I feel like how long is this going to last? People keep using the same resources and how long will the money be able to fix it. It’s working now, but I don’t know how much longer," Ford said.