Florida Senate - 2014                                    SB 1094
       By Senator Dean
       5-01147-14                                            20141094__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to aquatic preserves; creating s.
    3         258.3991, F.S.; creating the Nature Coast Aquatic
    4         Preserve; designating the preserve for inclusion in
    5         the aquatic preserve system; describing the boundaries
    6         of the preserve; outlining the authority of the Board
    7         of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund in
    8         respect to the preserve; requiring the board to adopt
    9         rules to carry out this section; prohibiting the
   10         establishment and management of the preserve from
   11         infringing upon the riparian rights of upland property
   12         owners adjacent to or within the preserve; providing
   13         for enforcement and applicability; providing an
   14         effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 258.3991, Florida Statutes, is created
   19  to read:
   20         258.3991 Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve.—
   21         (1) DESIGNATION.—The following described area in Pasco,
   22  Hernando, and Citrus Counties is designated by the Legislature
   23  for inclusion in the aquatic preserve system under the Florida
   24  Aquatic Preserve Act of 1975 and shall be known as the Nature
   25  Coast Aquatic Preserve.” It is the intent of the Legislature
   26  that the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve be preserved in an
   27  essentially natural condition so that its biological and
   28  aesthetic value may endure for the enjoyment of future
   29  generations.
   30         (2) BOUNDARIES.—
   31         (a) For the purpose of this section, the Nature Coast
   32  Aquatic Preserve consists of the state-owned submerged lands
   33  lying west of the west right-of-way line of U.S. Highway 19
   34  within the boundaries of Pasco County, as described in s. 7.51,
   35  Hernando County, as described in s. 7.27, and Citrus County, as
   36  described in s. 7.09, to the south boundary of St. Martins Marsh
   37  Aquatic Preserve, as described in s. 258.39(20), and the
   38  westerly projection thereof, and also including all the state
   39  owned submerged lands within Citrus County lying west of the
   40  west boundary of St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve, lying north
   41  of the westerly projection of the south boundary of St. Martins
   42  Marsh Aquatic Preserve, and lying south of a line extending
   43  westerly along northerly coordinate 1663693 feet, Florida West
   44  Zone (NAD83).
   45         (b) The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve includes the
   46  submerged bottom lands, the water column upon such lands, and
   47  all publicly owned islands within the boundaries of the
   48  preserve. Any privately owned upland within the boundaries of
   49  the preserve is excluded. However, the board may negotiate an
   50  arrangement with the owner of any privately owned upland by
   51  which such upland may be included in the preserve.
   52         (3) AUTHORITY OF TRUSTEES.—The board shall maintain the
   53  Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve subject to the following:
   54         (a) Further sale, transfer, or lease of sovereignty
   55  submerged lands in the preserve may not be approved or
   56  consummated by the board, except upon a showing of extreme
   57  hardship on the part of the applicant and a determination by the
   58  board that such sale, transfer, or lease is in the public
   59  interest.
   60         (b) Further dredging or filling of submerged lands of the
   61  preserve may not be approved by the board except:
   62         1. Minimum dredging and spoiling of submerged lands may be
   63  authorized for existing public navigation projects, as a public
   64  necessity, or for preservation of the preserve according to the
   65  expressed intent of this section.
   66         2. Other alteration of the physical conditions of submerged
   67  lands, including the placement of riprap, may be authorized as
   68  necessary to enhance the quality and utility of the preserve.
   69         3. Minimum dredging and filling of submerged lands may be
   70  authorized for the maintenance of existing marinas, piers, or
   71  docks and their attendant navigation channels and access roads.
   72  Such projects may be authorized only upon a specific finding by
   73  the board that there is assurance that the project will be
   74  constructed and operated in a manner that will not adversely
   75  affect the water quality and utility of the preserve. This
   76  subparagraph does not authorize the connection of upland canals
   77  to the waters of the preserve.
   78         4. Dredging of submerged lands may be authorized if the
   79  board determines that such dredging is necessary for eliminating
   80  conditions hazardous to the public health or for eliminating
   81  stagnant waters, islands, and spoil banks and that such dredging
   82  would enhance the aesthetic and environmental quality and
   83  utility of the preserve and is clearly in the public interest as
   84  determined by the board.
   85         (c)Before approving any dredging or filling as provided in
   86  paragraph (b), the board must give public notice of such
   87  dredging or filling as required under s. 253.115.
   88         (d) There may not be any drilling of wells, excavation for
   89  shell or minerals, or erection of structures other than docks
   90  within the preserve unless such activity is associated with an
   91  activity that is authorized under this section.
   92         (e) The board may not approve any seaward relocation of
   93  bulkhead lines or further establishment of bulkhead lines except
   94  when a proposed bulkhead line is located at the line of mean
   95  high water along the shoreline. Construction, replacement, or
   96  relocation of a seawall is prohibited without the approval of
   97  the board, which may be granted only if riprap construction is
   98  used in the seawall. The board may grant approval under this
   99  paragraph by a letter of consent.
  100         (f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the
  101  board may, for lands lying within the Nature Coast Aquatic
  102  Preserve:
  103         1. Enter into agreements for and establish lines
  104  delineating sovereignty lands and privately owned lands.
  105         2. Enter into agreements for the exchange of, and exchange,
  106  sovereignty lands for privately owned lands.
  107         3. Accept gifts of land within or contiguous to the
  108  preserve.
  109         4. Negotiate or enter into agreements with owners of lands
  110  contiguous to public lands for any public or private use of such
  111  lands.
  112         5. Take any action convenient for, or necessary to, the
  113  accomplishment of any of the acts and matters authorized under
  114  this paragraph.
  115         6. Conduct restoration and enhancement efforts in the
  116  preserve and its tributaries.
  117         7. Stabilize eroding shorelines of the preserve and its
  118  tributaries which are contributing to turbidity by planting
  119  natural vegetation to the greatest extent feasible and by the
  120  placement of riprap, as determined by Pasco, Hernando, and
  121  Citrus Counties in conjunction with the Department of
  122  Environmental Protection.
  123         (4) RULES.—
  124         (a) The board shall adopt and enforce reasonable rules to
  125  carry out this section and to provide:
  126         1. Additional preserve management criteria as necessary to
  127  accommodate special circumstances.
  128         2. Regulation of human activity within the preserve in such
  129  a manner as not to interfere unreasonably with lawful and
  130  traditional public uses of the preserve, such as sport fishing,
  131  commercial fishing, boating, and swimming.
  132         (b) Other uses of the preserve or human activity within the
  133  preserve, although not originally contemplated, may be
  134  authorized by the board, but only subsequent to a formal finding
  135  of compatibility with the purposes of this section.
  136         (5) RIPARIAN RIGHTS.—The establishment or the management of
  137  the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve may not operate to infringe
  138  upon the riparian rights of upland property owners adjacent to
  139  or within the preserve. Reasonable improvement for ingress and
  140  egress, mosquito control, shore protection, public utility
  141  expansion, and similar purposes may be authorized by the board
  142  or the Department of Environmental Protection, subject to any
  143  other applicable laws under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
  144  However, before approving any such improvements, the board or
  145  the department must give public notice as required under s.
  146  253.115.
  147         (6) ENFORCEMENT.—This section may be enforced in accordance
  148  with s. 403.412. In addition, the Department of Legal Affairs
  149  may bring an action for civil penalties of $5,000 per day
  150  against a person as defined in s. 1.01 who violates this section
  151  or any rule or regulation issued hereunder.
  152         (7) APPLICABILITY.—This section is subject to the “Florida
  153  Electrical Power Plant Siting Act” as described in ss. 403.501
  154  403.518.
  155         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.