On January 27, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will use his executive authority under Executive Orders 16-230 and 17-16 to allocate nearly $15.8 million in state funds for emergency beach restoration projects in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia and Brevard Counties. Funding will be used to immediately address critically eroded beaches where there is an imminent threat to beachfront structures, such as roadways, homes and businesses.
Governor Scott said, “Hurricane Matthew was the most destructive storm our state has experienced in over a decade, and while communities have worked hard to rebuild, many of our beautiful beaches remain significantly damaged. Since this storm first crossed our state, we have been fully committed to using every available resource to help our families and communities recover, and we will continue to do so. Today, I am allocating $15 million in state funding to help expedite emergency restoration projects in order to repair our beaches and ensure beachfront roadways and buildings are prepared for any potential future storms.
“Florida’s beaches are not only an economic driver for coastal communities, but also provide critical storm protection and habitat for wildlife. With sea turtle nesting season beginning in May and hurricane season beginning in June, it is crucial that these projects are completed as soon as possible.”
Projects will include replacing sand along beaches and repairing and constructing sand dunes. The Governor’s proposed budget for 2017-2018, which will be announced later this month, will also include the remaining $61.2 million to fulfill the state’s share of needed restoration, for a total of $77 million, based on the latest hurricane damage assessment from both Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine.