Everglades Trust, a non-profit organization comprised of citizens and businesses “committed to protecting the Everglades,” on Tuesday endorsed Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in his gubernatorial matchup against Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL).
The organization made the formal announcement official during a press conference in Fort Myers alongside the governor.
“You know, Chris called him America’s governor. I like to call him America’s Everglades governor because he’s been an absolute champion on Everglades restoration,” Anna Upton, CEO of the Everglades Trust, said at the press conference, noting DeSantis originally made Everglades restoration a “centerpiece” of his platform.
“He got to work on day one as soon as he won, he got to work right away in his inaugural address. He vowed, and he pledged to not let the foot draggers get in our way. He vowed to fight for our fishing guides. He vowed to fight to prevent harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee, and he vowed to fight for our Everglades, and he has delivered,” she said, repeating the phrase “Top Gov.”
“Under Governor DeSantis’s leadership, the South Florida Water Management District has started, hit major milestones, or completed over 50 Everglades restoration project components. Think about that– 50 project components,” she said, noting the “tremendous” momentum under DeSantis’s administration.
“When a when a company wanted to drill for oil in the Everglades, Governor DeSantis said no and extinguished that threat,” she continued, adding that DeSantis secured historic funding for Everglades restoration.
“He set out an ambitious goal to get $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration and water quality initiatives in the state of Florida. He not only hit that goal, he exceeded it by almost a billion dollars,” she said.
The Ron DeSantis campaign dropped its “Top Gov” ad ahead if Tuesday’s primary in Florida, paying homage to the governor’s military experience with a parallel to the ever-popular movie Top Gun: Maverick. https://t.co/iw1OexnYtP
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 23, 2022
“Ron DeSantis is not like other politicians. Politicians make promises all the time. What sets Ron DeSantis apart is that he delivers on those promises and he has delivered for the Everglades,” she added.
The Everglades Trust released a statement on Facebook early Wednesday as well, “enthusiastically” endorsing the governor.
“His first term as Governor has been marked by significant achievements in restoring America’s Everglades, with an ambitious goal of securing $2.5 billion in funding for Everglades restoration and water quality initiatives,” they wrote.
“He not only met that goal, but he exceeded it – working with the Florida Legislature to secure $3.3 billion to protect the Everglades and our water supply,” the group added:
“I said we needed to do more because quite frankly this requires infrastructure,” DeSantis said during the press conference.
“You’re basically taking a state and you’re making sure it has adequate plumbing because we had how God made it, and then man kind of changed that and it created some problems.”
“And so we’re just trying to go back to God’s design basically is all we’re doing,” DeSantis said of his administration’s Everglades efforts.