Florida Senate - 2017                                    SB 1624
       By Senator Farmer
       34-00831A-17                                          20171624__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to coral reefs; defining terms;
    3         establishing the Southeast Florida Coral Reef
    4         Ecosystem Protection Area; requiring the Coral Reef
    5         Conservation Program, in coordination with the Fish
    6         and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to develop a
    7         comprehensive management plan for the area using and
    8         building on previous stakeholder engagement and public
    9         comment; requiring the reef program and commission to
   10         seek public comment on the proposed plan; providing
   11         requirements for the plan; requiring the Department of
   12         Environmental Protection to submit the proposed plan
   13         to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement
   14         Trust Fund; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem
   19  Protection Area.—
   20         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   21         (a)“Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation
   22  Commission.
   23         (b)“Department” means the Department of Environmental
   24  Protection.
   25         (c)“Protection area” means the Southeast Florida Coral
   26  Reef Ecosystem Protection Area established in this section.
   27         (d)“Reef program” means the Department of Environmental
   28  Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.
   29         (2)There is established the Southeast Florida Coral Reef
   30  Ecosystem Protection Area. The protection area shall consist of
   31  the sovereignty submerged lands and state waters offshore of
   32  Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties from St.
   33  Lucie Inlet to the northern boundary of the Biscayne National
   34  Park.
   35         (3)The reef program, in partnership with the commission,
   36  shall, by December 31, 2018, develop a comprehensive management
   37  plan for the protection area.
   38         (4)The reef program, in developing the comprehensive
   39  management plan along with the commission, shall include and
   40  build on previous stakeholder engagement in and public comment
   41  on the reef program which were solicited through the Southeast
   42  Florida Coral Reef Initiative, the Southeast Florida Coastal
   43  Ocean Taskforce, the reef program Technical Advisory Committee,
   44  the Our Florida Reefs Community Working Groups, and other
   45  efforts. The reef program, in coordination with the commission,
   46  shall solicit public comment on its proposed comprehensive
   47  management plan and hold public hearings throughout Southeast
   48  Florida before submitting its proposed comprehensive management
   49  plan to the department.
   50         (5)(a)The portion of the comprehensive management plan
   51  which is led by the reef program must include measures to
   52  improve the coral reef ecosystem of the protection area,
   53  including:
   54         1.Improvement of water quality, reef fish assemblages, and
   55  the coral reef and its associated habitats; and
   56         2.Reduction of cumulative impacts of the multiple
   57  stressors on the coral reef and its associated habitats.
   58         (b)The commission shall lead the portion of the
   59  comprehensive management plan which addresses fisheries
   60  management.
   61         (6)By March 1, 2019, the department shall submit the
   62  proposed comprehensive management plan to the Board of Trustees
   63  of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for adoption.
   64         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.