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PolitiFact Florida: Fact-Checking Claims On Climate Change

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- While jobs and education have been key factors in Florida's too-close-to-call race for Governor, so has climate change.

Environmentalists were surprised by a comment Governor Rick Scott made about how much money the state has spent to deal with sea level rise.

Governor Scott made the comment the second gubernatorial debate in Davie.

"We spent $350 million to deal with sea level rise," the governor said.

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Scott repeated it again at the third debate in Jacksonville, this time adding more money.

"We've spent $350 million to deal with sea level rise down in the Keys, or down in Miami," Scott said. "We spent $100 million to deal with coral reefs."

The claim came as a surprise to environmentalists, so PolitiFact got busy checking it out.

"We talked directly to the Scott people and they gave us an itemized list of these projects," said Sergio Bustos of The Miami Herald/PolitiFact.

The projects included $100 million to upgrade the sewer system in the Keys. More money was spent on flood control and beach restoration, Bustos said. But the projects did not add up to $350 million and they didn't deal directly with coral reefs or sea level rise.

"The projects were not just sea level rise," Bustos said. "In fact they were directly related to other issues regarding sewage systems and coastal management."

PolitiFact rated the statement by Scott that, "We spent $350 million to deal with sea level rise and $100 million to deal with coral reefs", to be MOSTLY FALSE.

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