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Governor DeSantis has been a strong advocate for funding towards manatee protection and water quality improvements since taking office in 2019. In total, over $50 million has been invested in manatee programs and more than $1.8 billion in water quality improvements. As a result, the state has seen the lowest mortality rate for manatees since 2017.
"Florida's manatee population continues to thrive thanks to our record investments in protection programs and water quality improvements," said Governor DeSantis. "I am grateful for the proactive efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in rescuing and rehabilitating these gentle creatures."
Under Governor DeSantis' leadership, the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget has allocated over $30 million towards enhancing and expanding manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts, as well as restoring habitats where manatees are highly concentrated. Roger Young, Executive Director of FWC expressed his gratitude for the governor's dedication to providing resources for manatee care.
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"Clean and sustainable water resources are crucial not only for Florida's residents and economy but also for our beloved manatees," said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. "Thanks to Governor DeSantis' vision and leadership, along with support from the Florida Legislature, we are seeing incredible momentum towards environmental protection to preserve our natural resources for future generations."
Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has approved over $50 million specifically for manatee protection. This includes funding for rescue efforts, rehabilitation programs, and habitat restoration in areas where manatees are highly concentrated. The state has also invested $325 million in restoring Florida's world-renowned springs, which serve as important habitats for manatees during the winter months.
In his Focus on Florida's Future Budget Proposal, Governor DeSantis has called for over $330 million to continue targeted water quality improvements. This includes $100 million for a second year of the Indian River Lagoon protection program, which is home to thousands of manatees. Additionally, the governor has proposed $9.5 million to continue successful manatee protection programs in the state.
With Governor DeSantis' continued dedication and support, Florida's manatee population is expected to continue thriving and serving as a beloved symbol of the state's commitment to environmental conservation.
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