Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is channeling the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt as he champions conservation efforts to protect his state’s environmental riches.
In a new column for The Gainesville Sun, Cynthia Barnett and David Colburn praise Governor DeSantis for his sweeping moves to promote conservation, including his ordering a “record $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration” as well as calling for huge investments in improving water quality.
Barnett and Colburn write that Governor DeSantis’ “decisiveness is classic Theodore Roosevelt,” as he works tirelessly to promote environmentalism across the Sunshine State.
Cynthia Barnett and David Colburn write for The Gainesville Sun:
“In his campaign for Florida governor, which coincided with plumes of toxic algae and piles of dead fish on the state’s gorgeous beaches, Ron DeSantis denounced the conditions that fostered pollution and declared himself a ‘Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican,’ championing conservation as a basic conservative value…
…two days after his inauguration as Florida’s 46th governor, DeSantis signed one of the farthest-reaching environmental orders in state history. While the rest of the nation saw federal inaction during the government shutdown, Floridians saw action.
DeSantis’s order called for a record $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration, a harmful-algae task force, a chief science officer, and an office of resilience and coastal protection to fund and coordinate Florida’s response to rising seas.
DeSantis did not stop at Executive Order No. 19-12. He next demanded the resignations of all eight board members of the powerful South Florida Water Management District. As governor-elect in December, DeSantis had asked the board to delay a $1 million sugar industry lease that would extend cane farming in an area the Legislature has identified for Everglades restoration. The water managers ignored him and approved the lease.
‘The voters spoke clearly in support of our bold vision for action on the environment,’ DeSantis wrote in his letter asking for their resignation.’It is time for a clean reset of the leadership of the Board to focus the appropriate attention on this bold vision.’
His green resolve continued in the governor’s record $91.3 billion budget proposal this month, with $150 million earmarked for water-quality improvements and $50 million for Florida’s ailing springs.
DeSantis’s decisiveness is classic Theodore Roosevelt. Early in his presidency, TR was determined to rein in the nation’s wild-west public lands policy and even demanded the resignation of his own public lands administrator, Binger Hermann…”