(LibertySociety.com) – Hurricanes Ian and Nicole hit the shores of Florida during the latter half of 2022, causing significant damage to various areas across the state. On December 9, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection released a report detailing a restoration plan for the beaches and dunes affected and the funding needed to recover.
On December 16, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) approved Senate Bill 4A, thereby agreeing tot allocate $100 million for beach erosion projects previously identified, among other funding earmarked for other initiatives. Just over a month later, the state leader announced the exact allocations to support beach restoration for various counties affected by the storms. DeSantis said in a press release that not addressing the beach erosion issues isn’t an option, as existing damage leaves them “vulnerable” to future storms.
Volusia County will receive the most funding with $37.6 million, followed by Lee County at $23.1 million, and Flagler County, which will get a little more than $17 million.
Today, I awarded $100 million to support beach erosion projects in 16 counties across Florida.
This funding will help hurricane impacted communities rebuild beach and dune systems that protect upland areas, including people’s homes, from flooding. pic.twitter.com/NTcr9sV3dS
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 18, 2023
In November 2022, DeSantis joined officials from Flagler and Volusia counties to examine and discuss the damage caused by both Hurricanes that hit nearly back to back. While touring the area, the state leader announced the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would give $20 million to help replace the sand wiped out by mother nature. The offering was to address immediate needs and assist the areas in beginning the recovery process. DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton said in the news release that the “beaches are the lifeblood” of the Sunshine State and are important to Florida’s economy, highlighting the importance of restoration. The DEP reiterated his assessment.
Reports from the department in December reported Volusia County would need beach and dune system recovery costs of $77.7 million, explaining why that particular area received the most funding from DeSantis’ announcement. Lee County put its estimated funding needs at $13.2 million, and Flagler County requested $25.2 million.
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