Governor Ron DeSantis continues support for conservation, FWC and Florida’s law enforcement officers

Press Release

June 5, 2022

Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Freedom First Budget furthering the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) mission to protect Florida’s natural resources and support FWC law enforcement officers. The budget reaffirms Governor DeSantis’ steadfast commitment to natural resource conservation for future generations. Included in the Governor’s Freedom First Budget are important investments in red tide research, manatee rescue and care, derelict vessel removal, and support for law enforcement.

“Thanks to the support of Governor DeSantis and the Legislature, Florida will continue to be known as the Boating and Fishing Capital of the World,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, future generations will benefit from our diligence to preserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.”  

“Governor DeSantis and the Legislature have continued to commit record funding to Florida’s environment. His steadfast support is crucial in our efforts to manage the great natural resources Florida has while providing access to our residents and visitors for generations to come,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton.

The 2022-2023 budget highlights include:

  • $4.8 million in continued support for the Center for Red Tide Research.
  • Up to $3 million to remove invasive Burmese pythons.
  • More than $30 million to enhance and expand manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts and provide habitat restoration for areas where manatees are highly concentrated.
  • $2.6 million for 12 additional law enforcement officers.
  • $8.8 million to improve boating access.
  • $20 million for derelict vessel removal.
  • $15.5 million for habitat restoration initiatives.
  • $18.8 million for law enforcement operations and support.
  • $600,000 for artificial reefs.

To learn more about the FWC and its programs, visit

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Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
1 year ago

The funds allocated to conservation is a pittance compared to development projects (see Craig Pittman’s recent article in the Florida Phoenix). DeSantis snd FL Republican legislators are doing nothing to combat the root causes of climate change, toxic algae blooms, manatee die-offs, etc.