After eight years of Gov. Rick Scott degrading science and dismissing climate change, Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced Thursday he will appoint a chief science officer to cope with “current and emerging environmental considerations most urgent to Floridians.”
This welcome turnaround got here simply two days after DeSantis’ swearing-in, in an government order that additionally requires $2.5 billion in Everglades restoration, creates a process pressure on blue-inexperienced poisonous algae and instructs the South Florida Water Management District to right away start the subsequent part of the reservoir venture south of Lake Okeechobee.
In addition to the chief science officer’s remit to “coordinate and prioritize scientific knowledge, research, monitoring and analysis” on Florida’s setting, the order also creates an Workplace of Environmental Accountability and Transparency “charged with corralling scientific research and knowledge “to ensure that all company actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.”
That is entire new tone for a governor’s workplace that advised Floridians, principally, that we couldn’t afford to both create jobs and shield the setting. Scott reduce hundreds of thousands of dollars from water management district budgets, which meant shedding scientists, engineers and different specialists; slashed greater than 200 water-monitoring stations; sharply lowered policing of polluters; rolled back progress-management laws.
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We hope that Thursday’s government order is a step toward reversing that development — and extra.