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Region wins nearly $40M in state funding for water pollution reduction projects

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 5:45 p.m. December 19, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Wilson Ranch Reserve Hydrologic Restoration Project in Polk County.
Wilson Ranch Reserve Hydrologic Restoration Project in Polk County.
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  • Florida
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Funding for five water quality projects in the region worth nearly $40 million has been approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. 

The projects, in Lee, Hillsborough and Polk counties, are funded through the state’s Water Quality Improvement Grant Program and are geared toward reducing harmful nutrients in Florida’s waterways, according to a statement. In total, the state awarded $210 million for 27 projects. The projects on the west coast of Florida total $39.5 million. 

The awards include septic-to-sewer projects, wastewater treatment upgrades, stormwater projects, wastewater improvement projects and a regional agricultural project, the release adds. The selected projects will reduce total nitrogen loading by more than 1 million cumulative pounds per year, which will help to reduce harmful algal blooms.

“It is important to protect and restore our waterways and to preserve the Florida way of life that has made us the fishing and boating capital of the world,” DeSantis says in the release. “These awards will help keep our waterways clean for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Since the former Wastewater Grant Program’s creation in 2020, the Department of Environmental Protection has awarded nearly $763 million for 135 projects to protect Florida’s water resources. Following the 2023 Legislative Session, DeSantis signed House Bill 1379, which expanded the program to now include additional types of eligible projects – including upgrades and repairs to wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, septic-to-sewer conversions and projects to address agricultural nonpoint sources – as well as additional areas of the state that are now eligible for this program, the release states. 

Water Quality Improvement Grant Program projects in the region
LocationProject NameState Funding Requested
City of Cape CoralNorth 1 Utilities Extension Septic-to-Sewer Project$25 million
Polk CountyWilson Ranch Reserve Hydrologic Restoration Project$7.5 million
Hillsborough CountyLow Pressure Sewer System/Septic-to-Sewer Project$6.1 million
City of Bonita SpringsLakes of Sans Souci Septic-to-Sewer Project$487,500
City of Bonita SpringsSun Village Septic-to-Sewer Project$424,250
Source: Florida Department of Environmental Protection 




Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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