Florida leaders, conservationists acknowledge ‘Florida Wildlife Corridor Act’ to protect natural areas

In late June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB-976, which went into effect this month. On Monday, state leaders and wildlife officials celebrated the milestone.

DeSantis said the press conference to acknowledge the legislation would have been held sooner, but the Surfside condo collapse diverted the governor’s attention to South Florida.

"This is a little more ceremonial, which it deserves," DeSantis said from Disney Wilderness Preserve in Poinciana.

The act recognizes and aims to protect Florida’s network of natural areas. It also secures $400 million in funding.

Earlier in the year, the bill passed unanimously in the Florida House and Senate. Lawmakers doubled funding to $100 million for Florida Forever, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection program that focuses on conservation and recreation lands acquisition. https://floridadep.gov/lands/environmental-services/content/florida-forever

Lawmakers also used $300 million from federal funding toward the act.

Monday's event takes place after DeSantis joined Texas Governor Greg Abbot for a border security briefing. Prior to the visit, DeSantis deployed state law enforcement officers to Texas to assist in border security efforts.