Newly inaugurated Ron DeSantis wants to, “hit the ground running” as he jumps in to action on his top priorities. Most promising is his continued promise to get the water right. According to his Executive Office, he has outlined his first steps as follows:
—“2.5 billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources (a $1 billion increase in spending over the previous four years and the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history).
— “The Establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.
— “Instruction to the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.
— “The Creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.
Glimmers of Hope
We are encouraged to see Mr. DeSantis engage with top environmentalists for direction and guidance. Brian Mast, R-Fl Dist. 18, has been appointed the lead on the governor’s Environmental Transition Team and this too bodes a promising sign for the upcoming years.
DeSantis expressed dissatisfaction with many of Rick Scott’s outgoing, last minute appointments. DeSantis suggested he would vet these appointments and rescind if necessary.
We are feeling optimistic.