(1) Over the years, the Legislature has created numerous programs and funded several initiatives intended to restore, conserve, protect, and manage Florida’s water resources and the lands and ecosystems associated with them. Although these programs and initiatives have yielded individual successes, the overall quality of Florida’s water resources continues to degrade; natural systems associated with surface waters continue to be altered or have not been restored to a fully functioning level; and sufficient quantities of water for current and future reasonable beneficial uses and for natural systems remain in doubt.
(2) Therefore, in order to further the goals of the Florida Forever Act each water management district shall develop a 5-year work plan that identifies projects that meet the criteria in subsections (3), (4), and (5).
(3) In developing the list, each water management district shall:
(a) Integrate its existing surface water improvement and management plans, Save Our Rivers land acquisition lists, stormwater management projects, proposed water resource development projects, proposed water body restoration projects, proposed capital improvement projects necessary to promote reclamation, storage, or recovery of water, and other properties or activities that would assist in meeting the goals of Florida Forever.
(b) Work cooperatively with the applicable ecosystem management area teams and other citizen advisory groups, the Department of Environmental Protection and its district offices, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Transportation, other state agencies, and federal agencies, where applicable.
(4) The list submitted by the districts shall include, where applicable, the following information for each project:
(a) A description of the water body system, its historical and current uses, and its hydrology; a history of the conditions which have led to the need for restoration or protection; and a synopsis of restoration efforts that have occurred to date, if applicable.
(b) An identification of all governmental units that have jurisdiction over the water body and its drainage basin within the approved surface water improvement and management plan area, including local, regional, state, and federal units.
(c) A description of land uses within the project area’s drainage basin, and of important tributaries, point and nonpoint sources of pollution, and permitted discharge activities associated with that basin.
(d) A description of strategies and potential strategies, including improved stormwater management, for restoring or protecting the water body to Class III or better surface water quality status. Such strategies may utilize alternative technologies for pollutant reduction, such as cost-effective biologically-based, hybrid wetlands/chemical and other innovative nutrient control technologies.
(e) A listing and synopsis of studies that are being or have been prepared for the water body, stormwater management project, or water resource development project.
(f) A description of the measures needed to manage and maintain the water body once it has been restored and to prevent future degradation, to manage and maintain the stormwater management system, or to manage and maintain the water resource development project.
(g) A schedule for restoration and protection of the water body, implementation of the stormwater management project, or development of the water resource development project.
(h) A clear and concise estimate of the funding needed to carry out the restoration, protection, or improvement project, or the development of new water resources, where applicable, and a clear and concise identification of the projected sources and uses of Florida Forever funds.
(i) Numeric performance measures for each project. Each performance measure shall include a baseline measurement, which is the current situation; a performance standard, which water management district staff anticipates the project will achieve; and the performance measurement itself, which should reflect the incremental improvements the project accomplishes towards achieving the performance standard. These measures shall reflect the relevant goals detailed in s. 259.105(4).
(j) A discussion of permitting and other regulatory issues related to the project.
(k) An identification of the proposed public access for projects with land acquisition components, including the Florida National Scenic Trail.
(l) An identification of those lands which require a full fee simple interest to achieve water management goals and those lands which can be acquired using alternatives to fee simple acquisition techniques and still achieve such goals. In their evaluation of which lands would be appropriate for acquisition through alternatives to fee simple, district staff shall consider criteria including, but not limited to, acquisition costs, the net present value of future land management costs, the net present value of ad valorem revenue loss to the local government, and potential for revenue generated from activities compatible with acquisition objectives.
(m) An identification of lands needed to protect or recharge groundwater and a plan for their acquisition as necessary to protect potable water supplies. Lands which serve to protect or recharge groundwater identified pursuant to this paragraph shall also serve to protect other valuable natural resources or provide space for natural resource based recreation.
(5) The list of projects shall indicate the relative significance of each project within the particular water management district’s boundaries, and the schedule of activities and sums of money earmarked should reflect those rankings as much as possible over a 5-year planning horizon.
(6) Each district shall remove the property of an unwilling seller from its 5-year work plan at the next scheduled update of the plan, if in receipt of a request to do so by the property owner.
(7) By June 1, 2001, each district shall file with the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of Environmental Protection the initial 5-year work plan as required under subsection (2). By March 1 of each year thereafter, as part of the consolidated annual report required by s. 373.036(7), each district shall report on acquisitions completed during the year together with modifications or additions to its 5-year work plan. Included in the report shall be:
(a) A description of land management activity for each property or project area owned by the water management district.
(b) A list of any lands surplused and the amount of compensation received.
(c) The progress of funding, staffing, and resource management of every project funded pursuant to former s. 259.101(3), Florida Statutes 2014, s. 259.105, or former s. 373.59(2), Florida Statutes 2014, for which the district is responsible.
The secretary shall submit the report referenced in this subsection to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund together with the Acquisition and Restoration Council’s project list as required under s. 259.105.