Florida Gov. Rick Scott, caught in a tight campaign with his chief rival challenging his environmental record, has pledged if re-elected to spend millions more on everything from cleaning up springs to buying more lands for conservation.
Scott is scheduled to roll out a substantial environmental platform during campaign stops Monday in Martin County on Florida’s east coast.
Several of the “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful” proposals Scott plans to announce represent a marked turn-around from his 2010 campaign when he pledged to slash government spending and tear away regulations that he said were harming the state’s economy.
“Florida’s natural beauty is a big reason why this is the best state in the country to call home,” Scott said in a statement. “Our natural resources are the foundation of our economy – they drive tourism, housing, business, and agriculture – and they deserve our long-term commitment.”
The Republican incumbent is vowing to dedicate $500 million to springs restoration over the next 10 years as well as $500 million over the same time period to help create alternative water supplies. He also wants to keep moving ahead with projects designed to steer excess and potentially polluted water from Lake Okeechobee away from the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.