The governor should reconsider not providing any money for beach renourishment in his budget proposal, according to a Tuesday letter sent by Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg.
Beach communities had requested the state Department of Environmental Protection fund $101 million in renourishment projects this year, but Gov. Rick Scott's budget proposes nothing for these projects.
The House appropriated $8.3 million for renourishment, Kriseman wrote, which is a "a terribly low and inadequate figure, but it's at least an acknowledgment of the problem."
"If you're serious about making your campaign slogan a reality, getting Floridians back to work and investing in our tourism-based economy, funding renourishment is a no-brainer," he wrote.
Kriseman references a March 12 St. Petersburg Times story that mentioned a study revealing each state dollar spent protecting Florida's beaches that have public access prevents the loss of $8 in state taxes paid by out-of-state tourists and resident users of those beaches.
The Times reported that DEP has $75 million from prior years that it hasn't spent yet, but that money is already committed to other renourishment projects.
Read Kriseman's letter here: Download Kriseman_beach