The Outdoor Wire

March 20, 2020

Tallahassee, Fla. – Keep Florida Fishing (KFF), an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), today thanked the Florida legislature for passing the FY 2020-2021 budget and multiple bills related to water quality and fisheries habitat that are now headed to Governor DeSantis’ desk for signature. The $93.2 billion budget includes more than $650 million for water quality and Everglades restoration, $20 million for coral reefs and resiliency, and almost $3 million to improve data collection for marine recreational fisheries through a new State Reef Fish Survey. Priority bills passed this legislative session include the Clean Waterways Act (HB 1343/SB 712) and the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve (HB 1061/SB 1042).

“Florida is known as the Fishing Capital of the World and we are thrilled to have such strong legislative leadership in support of our mission for anglers to have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both,” said Gary Jennings, Director, Keep Florida Fishing.“We particularly thank Senators Debbie Mayfield, Rob Bradley, and Ben Albritton, and Representatives Holly Raschein, Travis Cummings, Bobby Payne, Blaise Ingoglia, Toby Overdorf, and Ralph Massullo for their tireless efforts on spearheading the Clean Waterways Act, the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve and expanding the Gulf Reef Fish Survey statewide.”

“The American Sportfishing Association understands how critically important Florida is to the sportfishing industry, supporting more than 106,000 jobs and providing $11.5 billion in economic activity in the state. This thoughtful budget and legislation will allow this important economic driver to continue. We appreciate the Legislature’s leadership as well as Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on water quality, Everglades restoration, habitat restoration and conservation, and strong fisheries management for the state’s more than four million anglers who contribute more than $56.7 million for fisheries conservation.” said Kellie Ralston, Southeast Fisheries Policy Director, American Sportfishing Association.

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