Water Quality Is A Top Priority For Florida

That’s why, less than 48 hours after being sworn in, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order outlining his bold vision to achieve more now for Florida’s environment. The Executive Order directs strategic action with a focus on accountability, transparency and collaboration and includes a proposed $2.5 billion investment over the next four years.

Statewide Efforts

Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to convene meetings of two task forces, focused on freshwater and saltwater algal blooms, respectively, to immediately address these critical water quality issues.

 

Blue-Green Algae Task Force

Governor DeSantis took a major step forward in combating Blue-Green Algae within Florida through the creation of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force along with the appointment of its five members. The Blue-Green Algae Task Force plays an important role in protecting Florida’s water and water-related resources. Each of the Task Force members is a nationally recognized and well-respected scholar. Their collective scientific expertise and input figures prominently in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s efforts to improve water quality throughout the state.

More on State Task Force

 

Red Tide Task Force

Under Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership the Red Tide Task Force, also  known as the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force, was re-organized and received funding for the first time in more than 15 years. Coordination of the Red Tide Task Force and its activities will be carried out by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Red Tide Task Force will focus on the causes of red tide and seek to provide mitigation solutions, identify research needs, and evaluate other actions intended to address impacts from red tide along with other saltwater based algal blooms.

More on Red Tide Task Force

Timeline

October 19th, 2020
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein Visit Red Hills Conservation Florida Forever Project

Highlighting Florida’s continued efforts to conserve and protect the state’s natural resources, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein and various environmental leaders visited the Red Hills Conservation Florida Forever Project, located in the Red Hills region of North Tallahassee. During the visit, attendees witnessed first-hand the work that goes into protecting endangered longleaf pine forests, Lake Miccosukee and various regional ecosystems surrounding the property. 

Land conservation has a far-reaching impact on virtually every component of our environment and communities,” said DEP Secretary Valenstein. “It is a critical component in our collaborative efforts to ensure our natural resources are protected and remain healthy for generations to come. This property is a great example of the continued coordination among environmental stakeholders that has strengthened our ability to safeguard our state's conservation lands.”

View Press Release 

October 4th, 2020
Governor DeSantis Announces Preparation for Algal Bloom Mitigation Following Announcement by Corps of Releases from Lake Okeechobee

Following an announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that they will release of harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, Governor Ron DeSantis charged DEP and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to proactively deploy innovative technology to mitigate the risk of blue-green algae blooms. 

“This action is a direct result of recommendations made by the Governor’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force. Although the task force emphasized the importance of preventative measures, they recommended clearly that DEP invest in a broad suite of technologies including those capable of reducing the abundance of algae and toxins they produce,” said Chief Science Officer Dr. Tom Frazer. “The application of the proprietary algaecide to release water coming from Lake Okeechobee holds a great deal of promise and we are prepared to evaluate the efficacy of the technology to help guide future mitigation efforts around the state.”

“Harmful algal blooms have a debilitating effect on our ecosystems and our communities,” said Governor DeSantis. “That is why, for the first time, I made it a priority to secure dedicated funding to deploy innovative technology to mitigate blue-green algae blooms. I will continue to advocate for better management of Lake Okeechobee and the resources needed to bolster our natural resource protection efforts. Our economy and way of life depend on it.”

View Press Release

September 18th, 2020
Governor DeSantis announced $50 million for statewide springs restoration projects

Governor Ron DeSantis announced $50 million for more than 20 statewide springs restoration projects to aid the recovery and provide additional protection for Florida’s springs. These projects work in concert with increased monitoring, enforcement, and other measures to ensure compliance with best management practices implemented under the Governor’s leadership to improve water quality across the state.

"Florida’s springs are integral to both our economy and environment,” said Governor DeSantis. “Our state is home to more large springs than any other state in the nation and they serve as a fun source of recreation for our residents and visitors to enjoy.

View Press Release

Water Quality Status
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is collaborating with other key agencies to monitor and report on water conditions, starting with some areas at greatest risk, to keep you informed on water quality and what you can do.