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State Funding To Flow For Florida Springs

Silver Springs. Photo: NPR
Silver Springs. Photo: NPR

The Legislature is putting $100 million toward Florida’s ailing springs.

That’s after a WMFE story pointed out existing springs funding sat unspent.

The money was included in the state budget under the Legacy Florida Act, approved in 2016 to put water and land conservation funding toward the Everglades, springs and Lake Apopka.

The measure calls for an annual allocation of $50 million. Clay Henderson of Stetson University’s Water Institute says the budget also contains last year’s unspent funding--- bringing the total to 100 million.

“We’ve really been in a holding pattern for the past year. The legislature approved this money, but it didn’t get approved by all the points along the way. But the Legislature fixed that, and so in the next year it appears we’re going to have $100 million for springs restoration, and that’s a good thing.”

Florida has more freshwater springs than any other place in the world. Restoration plans for 15 of the state’s most important springs face legal challenges from environmental groups.

 

 

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