Florida Senate - 2008 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
Bill No. SB 660
The Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation
(Jones) recommended the following amendment:
Delete lines 50 through 102
beds of Brevard County, Charlotte County, Lee County, Manatee
County, Monroe County, or Pinellas County or the natural
resources that depend on the health and productivity of those
(b) "Fund" means the Ecosystem Management and Restoration
(c) "Natural resources" means land, air, water, ground
water, drinking water supplies, fish and their habitats,
wildlife and their habitats, biota, and other such resources
belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or
otherwise controlled by the state.
(d) "Seagrass bed" means a community of flowering
underwater plants which is located in shallow marine waters,
such as in a bay or lagoon, or along the continental shelf in
the Gulf of Mexico.
(2) The Legislature finds that:
(a) The preservation of seagrass beds is critical to
protecting the marine life, water quality, and ocean-based
economy of this state. Seagrass beds maintain water quality and
provide food, habitat, and nursery areas for numerous species of
marine life. This state's multimillion-dollar fishing and diving
industries depend on the health and productivity of the seagrass
beds. Estimates indicate that thousands of acres of seagrass
beds in this state have been scarred from boat propellers.
Impacts from boat groundings fragment the grass bed, restricting
the movement of the marine life that depends upon the habitat.
Seagrass beds can take up to a decade to recover from propeller
(b) Seagrass beds and the natural resources that depend on
the health and productivity of seagrass beds are subject to
instantaneous injury or loss from a variety of negligent and
willful acts in ways that cannot be foreseen and provided for in
the normal budget process. Due to the unforseeability of such
incidents, funds have not been available for reimbursement of
extraordinary expenses incurred by the Department of
Environmental Protection in seeking compensation, on behalf of
the residents of the state, for the injury to or destruction of
these natural resources. As a result, a significant amount of
monetary damages recovered by the state for injury to or
destruction of its seagrass beds and the natural resources that
depend on the health and productivity of seagrass beds are
deposited into the general accounts of the State Treasury and
are not specifically set aside for the restoration or
rehabilitation of the injured or destroyed natural resources in
areas of the state where the injury or loss occurred.
(3) The purpose of this section is to establish a pilot
program that provides for the immediate stabilization and
restoration of seagrass beds in Brevard, Charlotte, Lee,
Manatee, Monroe, and Pinellas Counties where damage has occurred
and to remediate the injury to or destruction of natural
resources that are dependent upon the health and productivity of
those seagrass beds.
(4)(a) All damages recovered by or on behalf of the state
for injury to or destruction of the seagrass beds in Brevard,
3/4/2008 9:54:00 AM 592-04378A-08
CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.