Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
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Florida Legislature Continues to Prioritize State’s Natural Resources

Photo: Nick Shirghio

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust thanks Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for continuing to prioritize our state’s natural resources. This year the Legislature:

    • Unanimously passed Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed update to the state’s stormwater rules and design criteria (SB 7040/HB 7053). These new rules were an outcome of the Clean Waterways Act (2020) and set new minimum performance standards and new requirements for the maintenance and operation of stormwater systems.
    • Unanimously passed Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s agency bill (HB 1557/SB 1386) that:
      • Establishes a new aquatic preserve to enhance protections for Florida’s northern coral reef tract
      • Improves the treatment of reclaimed water and strengthens Florida’s resilience planning
      • Creates a new program to review new and innovative enhanced nutrient-reducing septic systems.
    • Passed the state’s fiscal year ’24-’25 budget that provides continued, robust funding for water quality, including:
      • $740 million for Everglades restoration
      • $75 million for the Indian River Lagoon Protection Program
      • $20 million for water quality in Biscayne Bay
      • $25 million for water quality in the Caloosahatchee River
      • $20 million for water quality in the Florida Keys
      • $2 million to research and address a suspected toxin affecting multiple Keys fish species with “spinning” behaviors and called for by BTT, Lower Keys Guides Association and other partners
      • Funding for habitat, oyster, and coral positions for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to better integrate habitat into fisheries management and ensure robust aquatic habitats in Florida
      • $250,000 for Rookery Bay hydrologic restoration projects led by BTT and partners
    • Did not pass toxic spill legislation (HB 789/SB 738) that could have impacted citizens’ ability to recover impacts from toxic spills that cause economic or medical damages.

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