Pew Asks Florida Governor to Finalize New Aquatic Preserve
Bill passed by legislature would protect Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and long-term health of coastal economy
On March 12, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) encouraging him to sign into law legislation that creates a new aquatic preserve off Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties along the state’s west coast.
The Florida Legislature passed the measure during its session this month. The preserve would span about 800 square miles and protect approximately 400,000 acres of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed, which provides critical habitat for valuable marine life. Healthy waters in this region are critical for fishing, boating, manatee-watching, scalloping, and other activities and businesses.
The measure, sponsored by Florida Representative Ralph Massullo (R-Lecanto) and Senator Ben Albritton (R-Wauchula), drew widespread support from more than 100 Nature Coast businesses, nine state and national recreational fishing and marine industry organizations, the Citrus and Hernando county commissions, and Citrus County’s chamber of commerce and tourist development council.
Read Pew’s letter to Gov. DeSantis here.