AP

DeSantis reups Florida environment pledge made 4 years ago

Jan 9, 2023, 11:05 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2023, 1:26 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis takes an oath as he is sworn in to serve a second term as the governor of Florida...

Gov. Ron DeSantis takes an oath as he is sworn in to serve a second term as the governor of Florida with his family by his side on the steps of the historic Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

(Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A week into his second term, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Tuesday reaffirming and building on a commitment to clean water he had signed exactly four years earlier.

Like in 2019, the order addresses issues that have plagued the state, such as red tide and blue-green algae blooms, as well the yearslong effort to restore the Everglades. It orders the Department of Environmental Protection and regional water management districts to make those issues a priority and pledges $3.5 billion for water projects over the next four years.

“I said four years ago and then I reiterated that last Tuesday, we need to leave Florida to God better than we found it,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

The governor said making a commitment to the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it also helps drive the state’s tourism.

Tourists “want to go to the beaches, they want to go fishing, they want to go boating,” DeSantis said. “That’s just the lifeblood of our state’s DNA. So it’s the right thing to do but it also reinforces, I think, our economic objectives.”

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