Media Release
December 18, 2021


Today, Governor Ron DeSantis released his Freedom First budget recommendations to the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. The budget reaffirms Governor DeSantis’ commitment to high priority conservation items including red tide research and manatee rescue, and provides additional resources and support for law enforcement.

“Governor DeSantis continues to solidify the importance of our fish and wildlife resources,” saidFWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “Everyone wants what we have here in the Fishing and Boating Capital of the World, and we will continue to provide opportunities for residents and visitors because of the leadership of Governor DeSantis.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his unwavering support for Florida’s natural resources and we are proud of the conservation successes we are achieving under his leadership,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. “Florida’s natural resources are abundant and we will continue to work hard to conserve and manage these great resources for future generations.”

Budget Highlights:

  • $5.2 million and 24 FTE positions for Additional Law Enforcement Resources.
  • $12.3 million for Law Enforcement Equipment and Operations.
  • $3.8 million for Manatee Care including $717,767 and 2 FTE positions for Enhanced Manatee Rescue and Mortality Response.
  • $750,000 for Coral Reef Recovery.
  • $3.2 million and 8 FTE positions for Land Additions and Land Use Planning Program.
  • $3 million for Restoration of Lakes, Rivers, and Springs.
  • $4 million for Expanding Mechanical Control for Invasive Plant Management.
  • $7.2 million for Increased Boating Access and Safety.
  • $9.9 million to Combat Invasive Species.
  • $4.2 million for Continued Red Tide Research.

To learn more about the FWC and its programs, visit

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Richard Norman Kurpiers
Richard Norman Kurpiers (@guest_63414)
9 months ago

In between the boos, I occasionally find a reason to applaud DeSantis. This is one of those times.

Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
9 months ago

While DeSantis has sometimes helped conservation and environmental issues, too often they are reactive and not proactive. These budget items are a case in point: many are meant to clean up the messes left by corporate agricultural operations or allow them to “mitigate” their pollution by moving it elsewhere, while not actually preventing pollution at its source. Beware DeSantis’s greenwashing, and always double-check legislative proposals via true conservation organizations.

Joe Blanchard
Joe Blanchard (@guest_63422)
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tomes

Some people are never satisfied. I think that if you were in the desert and someone offered you water you would complain because it wasn’t iced down. If you don’t like the way we do things in Florida, go elsewhere.

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