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Governor Calls For Land Acquisition Funding As Environmentalists Worry About Water Quality

Florida Everglades. Photo: Chauncey Davis on Flickr.
Florida Everglades. Photo: Chauncey Davis on Flickr.

Conservationists say the governor's budget proposal announced Monday for Florida's environment is encouraging but lacks funding for water quality improvements.

Gov. Rick Scott is calling for more than $1.7 billion for Florida's environment, including the Everglades, beaches, springs and land conservation.

But Eric Draper of Audubon of Florida says additional funding is needed for water quality improvements beyond south Florida, where toxic algae bloomed last year.

"Just in central Florida Lake Apopka is probably the most polluted lake in the state of Florida. So we're going to have to make the same kind of investments that are being made in south Florida throughout the state of Florida."

The proposal includes $50 million for the state's land acquisition program Florida Forever, which got no funding this year. Legislators will take up the budget in January.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.