Florida Realtors Works to Balance Property Rights and the Environment
In order to grow, Florida must continue to develop its communities and the industries that support them. But it cannot do so in a way that damages these precious resources and puts the state at risk.
It is a fine balance to maintain and Florida Realtors is often the leading voice in the efforts to ensure Florida’s environment remains protected.
In its more than 100-year history, Florida Realtors has passed numerous member-driven motions pertaining to the environment and the preservation of Florida’s natural resources.
For example, Florida Realtors has adopted policy positions that promote finding solutions to address excessive pollution and degradation of the state's waterways. We also continue to support efforts to create a statewide beach re-nourishment and maintenance program and to demonstrate the importance of beach re-nourishment to the economic vitality of Florida.
These are the types of strategic initiatives that help guide our public policy efforts each and every year.
Florida Realtors will continue to advocate for sensible legislation that balances the rights of property owners with the need to protect and preserve our environment.
Florida relies on tourism to help power our large and robust economy. Whether it’s the white sandy beaches, the emerald coastline, or crystal-clear freshwater springs — a healthy environment is key to our overall economy.
In 2015, the Florida Legislature passed a landmark piece of environmental legislation aimed at cleaning up our waterways. While this bill was aimed at the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the two estuaries on the east and west coasts of south Florida, Senate Bill 10 also had statewide impacts.
In 2016, the Legislature also passed an important piece of legislation. House Bill 989 was the implementation of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, an amendment to the Florida Constitution that was passed in 2014. This amendment created a dedicated funding source for upcoming environmental restoration projects. HB 989 created percentages for how much money must be allocated for specific environmental projects statewide.
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers appropriated nearly $900 million dollars to help combat many of Florida's critical water quality needs. A total of $1.08 billion in federal funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has also been allocated for several of these environmental programs.
Below are the major highlights from the 2021 environmental budget:
- Everglades Restoration — $546 Million
- Beach Projects — $100 Million
- Springs Protection — $50 Beach Restoration
- Wastewater Grant Program — $116 Million
- Resilient Florida Grant Program — $29 Million
- Federal Funding for Wastewater and Resiliency Programs — $1 Billion