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NE Florida Sen. Rob Bradley Files Bill Increasing Funding For St. Johns River, Springs

Lindsey Kilbride
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
river_lkilbride_02.jpg
Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News
/
The Florida Channel

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is asking the Florida Legislature to appropriate $25 million more dollars for springs restoration next year.

Bradley is building on a funding increase from the last legislative session.

Bradley’s proposing spending at least $75 million annually on springs restoration — $25 million more than the current minimum.

His bill also proposes spending $50 million on projects related to restoring the St. Johns River and its tributaries, or Keystone Heights Lake Region.

Bradley, who sponsored a similar water bill last year, said he wants to preserve the area’s natural resources for future generations.

“The St. Johns River and our springs really define the character of North Florida,” he said.

Senators and House members could not agree on his bill before it died last session, but extra funding for both springs and river restoration did eventually make it into the final state budget.

Bradley said, like last year’s proposal, this year’s bill will use funds from a constitutionally mandated pot of money after voters three years ago earmarked certain tax dollars for conservation.

There are no specific projects included in Bradley’s measure. Instead, the funds will go directly to the St. Johns River Water Management District to help with a list of projects in its North Florida Water Supply Plan, including river and springs water quality improvement, as well as conservation, clean-up and water reclamation.

Bradley said the water management district has been historically underfunded.

Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org , at (904) 358 6319 or on Twitter at @RyanMichaelBenk .

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Ryan Benk is originally from Miami, Florida and came to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. He worked on Miami Dade College’s Arts and Literature Magazine- Miamibiance Magazine and has published poetry and a short film called “ The Writer.” He’s currently working as the Newsroom’s Researcher while finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree at Florida State University. When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida.