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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) –The governor made an announcement Tuesday that, if passed, could be great news for Florida’s famed River of Grass.
Governor Rick Scott announced Tuesday morning that he wants to create a source of money for Everglades restoration that would result in $5 billion over the next 20 years, as part of his 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” budget.
The budget recommendations will be submitted this week to the Florida Legislature as part of Scott’s proposal.
If passed by the Legislature, $150 million will go towards Everglades restoration this year.
“Florida has an abundance of natural resources that help create a foundation for our growing economy, whether it is driving our state’s tourism industry or providing a great quality of life that has attracted families to our state for generations. During my first term, we made historic investments in our springs and Everglades and I am proud to continue to make important investments in our environment this year. We will keep working to make sure we preserve our natural treasures so Florida can continue to be a top destination for families, visitors and businesses.” Scott said.
Those recommendations will also include a proposal to set aside $150 million to acquire environmentally-sensitive lands including land that would provide habitat for the Florida panther.
The money for Everglades restoration would include the state’s share of restoring the Kissimmee River and constructing two reservoirs. Those projects would help deal with discharges of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee.
“We can make these projects a reality and put people to work here in Florida and protect the everglades. Like this airboat moving by behind you? It’s a great symbol of our tourism,” said John Adornato of the National Parks Conservation Association .
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