Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he will ask the Legislature to include $130 million in the next state budget for Everglades-related projects in an effort to improve water quality and lessen the impacts of discharges from Lake Okeechobee on estuaries.
The money includes $40 million to speed up completion of the C-44 Stormwater Treatment Area for Martin and St. Lucie counties, Scott's office said, in addition to $30 million for a three-year installment for the Tamiami Trail project to provide water to Everglades National Park, $32 million as part of the governor’s Everglades Water Quality Restoration Plan and funds to complete Kissimmee River restoration. The final dollar amount will be set by the Legislature in the session that begins March 4.
Scott's second environmental announcement in as many days took place at a meeting of the governor and Cabinet in Kissimmee. On Tuesday, Scott called for $55 million to protect springs from the polluting effects of septic tanks, wastewater and runoff.
-- Steve Bousquet