DeSantis proposes funds for flood protection improvements across Florida

Legislation creates flooding prevention projects in 76 areas across Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his three-year plan to bolster the state’s resilience against environmental threats, like coastal and inland flooding, at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Oldsmar.

DeSantis, who spoke at R.E. Olds Park around noon, discussed how the proposed $270 million legislation promises to fortify infrastructure throughout Florida with 76 different projects.

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“We’re a low-lying state, we’re a storefront state and we’re a flood-prone state,” DeSantis said. “And so we work with the legislature to say, you know, how can we address this in a way that’s going to protect Florida’s communities, protect our economic livelihoods and make sure that that we’re doing what we need to do.”

The 76 projects were selected among submissions by counties, municipalities, regional entities, water management districts and flood control districts after being evaluated by the Department of Environmental Protection.

“The projects … were ranked based on their risk of things, like coastal and inland flooding, throughout the different parts of the state,” DeSantis said.

Oldsmar in particular would receive $4.3 million to help protect the city’s shores.

Of Central Florida communities, Brevard County requested around $61,000 for the Crystal Lakes impoundment breakwater and living shoreline, $15,000 of which the government estimates to fund, according to the governor’s office.

DeSantis was also joined by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton and Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks.

Brooks, speaking on behalf of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, praised the new proposal for being less reactive and more proactive in its approach to extreme weather, like storms and flooding.

“The more that you can mitigate (the effects of storms), really you can reduce the impacts that we see when we do have these tropical events, and that is always going to be something that’s going to be a part of life here in the state of Florida … We had a relatively modest impact in the state of Florida in the last couple years, but we know going forward that that could be something that can change very quickly,” DeSantis said.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.