Gov. Rick Scott (Pic via flgov.com)

The Everglades Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group, has come out in support of Gov. Rick Scott’s recent budget proposals, which include a recommendation to the state Legislature that it invest $40 million next year on Everglades restoration.

The number is a significant increase from Scott’s first budget, in which he recommended spending only $17 million. (Legislative leaders eventually increased that amount to $29.95 million.) A poll conducted after Scott unveiled his budget recommendations last year revealed that 55 percent of Florida voters opposed that plan.

Though Scott isn’t known for environmental advocacy, he has recently taken steps to change that reputation. Last month, Scott told a crowd of Everglades Foundation supporters in Naples that his administration is “absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens with the Everglades.”

“We know Gov. Scott has to face tough choices in making his budget recommendations,” said Everglades Foundation CEO Kirk Fordham in a press release. “The fact that Gov. Scott is willing to more than double his previous request for Everglades funding, demonstrates his understanding that protecting the Everglades and our water supply is a necessary ingredient to growing our state’s economy.”

The Foundation will soon be taking part in the Everglades Water Supply Summit, which will be held Jan. 17 and 18 in Tallahassee; the event will “bring together policymakers, business and civic leaders, and citizens from across Florida to aid in the effort of increasing appropriations for the Greater Everglades ecosystem.”

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