Florida Forever Funding Defended by Environmental Chief

Article Posted on February 10, 2021

(NSF) — State Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on Wednesday defended Gov. Ron DeSantis for not asking to issue bonds for the Florida Forever Land Conservation Program, as the financing method has been proposed to cover Everglade’s work and a new program to fight rising sea levels.

Valenstein told members of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee he’s been directed to show the value in Florida Forever, with DeSantis proposing next year to spend $50 million on the program — down from $100 million during the current fiscal year.

“We believe $50 million will allow us to continue a robust land-acquisition program,” Valenstein said. “The thing we focus on the most at the agency is bringing in good acquisitions, ones that tell the reason why we should have an acquisition program and the ones that add to the value of the green infrastructure we already have.”

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