News Release: Florida DEP
August 8, 2014
TALLAHASSEE – Today the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed $69 million in springs projects leveraged by the $30 million Governor Scott secured in the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” to bring the total invested in springs projects to more than $100 million in the last two years. During this year alone, DEP has developed a project plan to support nearly $70 million in springs restoration projects.
Governor Scott said, “We fought last session to secure funding for protecting and restoring Florida springs. These nearly $70 million in projects that DEP is proposing will restore water quality, protect water flow and reduce water consumption. We look forward to working with the Legislature and local partners in doing what it takes to protect our state’s natural resources.”
"I would like to thank Governor Scott for his leadership in providing record-setting funding for springs restoration. Our Florida Legislature, the water management districts and local elected officials continue to show their commitment to protect and restore springs throughout the Sunshine State," said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "We look forward to the Legislative Budget Commission approving this great plan that will enable state and local partners to protect the quality and quantity of water that flows from our springs."
The project plan is a collaborative effort with the department, water management districts, community leaders and local stakeholders, and the contributions and cooperation of these agencies and individuals have been crucial throughout the development process. Combining efforts and resources from various agencies across Florida allows for more efficient, more comprehensive water restoration.
Selected projects benefit the following springs and spring systems.
- Ichetucknee, Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers and associated springs
- Levy Blue
- Holmes Creek
- Jackson Blue
"The health of our springs is a top priority of the Department. Protecting these natural resources by identifying and funding springs projects is critical to their protection and restoration," said Drew Bartlett, Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration. "These projects illustrate what can be accomplished when the state invests wisely to support and supplement department and water management district restoration programs.”
The objective of the project plan is to effectively address water quality and water quantity by supporting both urban and agricultural projects across the state in geographic regions of the state where springs occur in the natural landscape. The projects were selected based on pollutant reduction, water quantity conservation, cost effectiveness and available matching grant funding.