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 numerous 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 motions 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.
Water quality efforts
Florida's beaches are famous throughout the world, and the beautiful springs and waterways that call Florida home are a key reason so many people are moving here.
Unfortunately, the summer months of years past have been plagued with blue green algae, red tide, and devastating hurricanes that have eroded some of Florida’s most inviting beaches.
These kinds of environmental issues directly impact Floridians, potential Floridians and the state’s real estate industry.
Although blue green algae and red tide get most of the news attention, Florida Realtors' environmental advocacy efforts also include things such as the protection of Florida’s famous natural springs and erosion prevention programs that help preserve the state’s beautiful beaches.
Our ongoing advocacy efforts have seen significant success, with the state legislature allocating historic amounts of funding for projects that address Florida’s water quality issues.
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 that was on the ballot 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 to go to specific environmental projects statewide.
During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers appropriated more than $686 million dollars to help combat many water quality needs that have become quite pressing. This number is more than the $625 million dollar ask from Gov. Ron DeSantis in his budget recommendations.
Below are the major highlights from the 2019 environmental budget:
- Everglades Restoration — $400 Million
- Beach Restoration — $100 Million
- Springs Restoration — $50 Beach Restoration
- Blue Green Algae Task Force — $25 Million
- Septic to Sewer conversions — $25 Million