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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Section 376.15, Florida Statutes 2005

376.15  Derelict vessels; removal from public waters.--

(1)  It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to store or leave any vessel in a wrecked, junked, or substantially dismantled condition or abandoned upon any public waters or at any port in this state without the consent of the agency having jurisdiction thereof or docked at any private property without the consent of the owner of the private property.

(2)(a)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hereby designated as the agency of the state authorized and empowered to remove any derelict vessel as described in subsection (1) from public waters.

(b)  The commission may establish a program to provide grants to coastal local governments for the removal of derelict vessels from the public waters of the state. The program shall be funded from the Florida Coastal Protection Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions in s. 216.181(11), funds available for grants may only be authorized by appropriations acts of the Legislature.

(c)  The commission shall adopt by rule procedures for submitting a grant application and criteria for allocating available funds. Such criteria shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1.  The number of derelict vessels within the jurisdiction of the applicant.

2.  The threat posed by such vessels to public health or safety, the environment, navigation, or the aesthetic condition of the general vicinity.

3.  The degree of commitment of the local government to maintain waters free of abandoned and derelict vessels and to seek legal action against those who abandon vessels in the waters of the state.

(d)  This section shall constitute the authority of the commission for such removal, but is not intended to be in contravention of any applicable federal act.

(e)  The Department of Legal Affairs shall represent the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in such actions.

History.--s. 15, ch. 70-244; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 6, ch. 80-382; s. 7, ch. 85-252; s. 64, ch. 95-143; s. 5, ch. 95-150; s. 257, ch. 99-245; s. 23, ch. 2001-56.