Flagler County was notified yesterday (January 18) that it will receive $17 million in funding allocated as part of the 2022 Special Session Funding through the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection, part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The funding is part of the $100 million Governor Ron DeSantis pledged his support of beach nourishment projects within 16 coastal counties impacted by Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole.

Of the 16 counties awarded funding, Flagler County received the third highest allocation behind Volusia and Lee counties.

We are so incredibly grateful to be receiving these state funds to help us with the monumental task of rebuilding our beaches and protective dunes following the devastting damages to all 18 miles of our coastline,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “We are tremendously thankful for the support of our Legislative Delegation – Senator Travis Hutson and Representative Paul Renner – as well as District 28 Representative Tom Leek.”

This current total allocation of $100 million is in addition to the $20 million awarded in November to help several local governments to quickly place sand in areas of high concern to avoid subsequent damage to public and private infrastructure. Flagler County received $5 million in aide then from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“Our beaches are the lifeblood of our communities. They are our identity,” said Appropriations Committee Chair Leek. “I was proud to work with Governor DeSantis and Speaker Renner to secure funding to renourish our beaches today and protect our beaches for tomorrow.”

Hurricane Nicole compounded the damaging impacts of Hurricane Ian to the barrier island leaving the beach and dune system fragile.

“Beaches are vital not only to the environment and the state’s economy, but are most importantly our first line of defense against storms,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton in a news release. He visited Flagler County in November to assess dune impacts. “I am thankful for the support and leadership of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature to accelerate restoration and further protect these impacted communities from future storm events.”

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Media Release: Flagler County

Image: Office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis