It monitors adherence to clean water and air standards. It determines if a builder can drain a wetland to build a subdivision or shopping center. It monitors greenhouse gases – the stuff that’s causing sea level rise and flooding in coastal communities. And, for the past 20 years, it’s been monitoring the health of the Everglades, Florida’s signature ecosystem.
On Tuesday in West Palm Beach, the 16-county district’s governing board approved a $726.6 million budget for 2016-2017 in which property owners will pay $33.07 per $100,000 of taxable land value, the agency said in a release.
The budget comes from a mix of property taxes and other income from local, state and federal sources, as well as fees, investments and farming taxes.
About 85 percent of the budget goes for flood control, operations and maintenance of lands, as well as ongoing restoration goals. That includes $54.1 million for the next phases of an $880 million plan to improve Everglades water quality. The release said the budget contains $234 million in state money to accelerate restoration projects.