MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When Governor Ron DeSantis took office one of his first priority projects was the Everglades Restoration Project.

In his first days in office, he signed a measure for recording funding for the project which called for moving more water south and fewer harmful discharges from two estuaries.

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During a news conference on Tuesday at the Miccosukee Indian Village, DeSantis said they were doing well when it came to the restoration projects.

“We obviously had a bold vision, we were expecting to do a lot of things, we set the standard very high. And we’re meeting it we are ahead of schedule on some of these projects,” he said.

DeSantis said the state has received a lot of support from the federal government to get the projects done.

“We got $235 million for 2020 and $250 million for 2021, which is obviously a very big help,” he said.

DeSantis said the state’s legislature is halfway through their current session and the budget should be done in the next few weeks which will hopefully include more funding for Everglades restoration.

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“I think you’re seeing my budget had robust funding for Everglades and water infrastructure, I think we are at $730 million or $740 million, and the Senate, their budget is pretty close to where we are too,” he said. “So we’re not that far away. So I think we’re going to end up having a lot of successes in this budget, which again, a year ago, people would have said was going to be a total disaster, that it was going to take us away from all the progress that we’ve made on all the other stuff.”

DeSantis pointed to the construction going on behind him as he noted progress in their projects.

“So if you look here, this is really an important milestone, we’re highlighting this project to remove over five miles of roadbed from the Old Tamiami Trail. What that will do is that’ll improve the volume of water flowing south through the Everglades and support reducing harmful discharges from both Lake Okeechobee to Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries,” he said.

The Governor believes this project is a huge step forward in preserving the ecosystem and a positive sign of what’s to come.

“It’s billions and billions of gallons of water that’s going to go down, and so they tell me that it’s expected to be completed by January, so we’ll hold you to that and make sure that we continue working hard to be able to get that done,” DeSantis said.

“All in all, we continue to make progress, we set a lot of ambitious goals, and we’re meeting those goals, we’re exceeding those goals in many respects,” he added.

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The Tamiami Trail Project and other Everglades restoration projects were highlighted in Governor DeSantis’ ‘achieving more now for Florida’s environment’ executive order, which was created to reform the state’s environmental and water policy.

CBSMiami.com Team