Florida angler


Conservation a Priority in DeSantis’ Florida Budget

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the proposed fiscal year 2024-2025 Focus on Florida’s Future Budget, solidifying his commitment to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s mission to protect Florida’s natural resources. The budget will help provide Floridians with more opportunities to get outdoors and high-priority conservation items including coral reef restoration, derelict vessel removal, and habitat restoration initiatives.

“Thank you to Gov. DeSantis for your commitment to our fish and wildlife resources,” said Rodney Barreto, FWC chairman. “Florida is known worldwide as the fishing and boating capital of the world, and because of the governor’s support, we will continue to provide opportunities for residents and visitors.”

The governor’s proposed budget includes more than $11.3 million and three new positions for initiatives supporting “Go Outdoors Florida,” which is FWC’s official licensing and permitting operation for hunting and fishing across the state. Getting more Floridians outdoors has been a top priority of the governor and, earlier this year, DeSantis announced the Great Outdoors Initiative and signed an executive order to reduce the price of state park passes and FWC sportsman hunting and fishing licenses by 50 percent. This initiative has had record success and discounts will last through Jan. 13, 2024. To learn more, visit FloridaStateParks.org/Learn/Great-Outdoors-Initiative.

Additional Budget Highlights

  • $1.3 million and seven new positions for coral reef restoration and recovery
  • $1.3 million and five new positions for statewide oyster and habitat resiliency enhancements
  • $7 million for boating access and improvement projects
  • $24.3 million for habitat restoration initiatives
  • More than $500,000 and four new positions for enhanced harmful algal bloom response
  • $12.8 million and four new positions for land management activities
  • $4.7 million for 12 new law enforcement positions for patrol and investigation
  • $7.6 million for derelict vessel removal
  • More than $350,000 for initiatives intended to enhance the resiliency of saltwater fisheries
  • $600,000 for artificial reefs

To learn more about the FWC and its programs, visit MyFWC.com.