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. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 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.