TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A week into his second term, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Tuesday reaffirming and building on a commitment to clean water he had signed exactly four years earlier.
Like in 2019, the order addresses issues that have plagued the state, such as red tide and blue-green algae blooms, as well the yearslong effort to restore the Everglades. It orders the Department of Environmental Protection and regional water management districts to make those issues a priority and pledges $3.5 billion for water projects over the next four years.
“I said four years ago and then I reiterated that last Tuesday, we need to leave Florida to God better than we found it,” DeSantis said at a news conference.
The governor said making a commitment to the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it also helps drive the state’s tourism.
Tourists “want to go to the beaches, they want to go fishing, they want to go boating,” DeSantis said. “That’s just the lifeblood of our state’s DNA. So it’s the right thing to do but it also reinforces, I think, our economic objectives.”