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New Florida Law Will Benefit Marine Industry

The bill includes pieces of legislation from non-marine industry groups also, and was classifed as an Environmental Regulation bill. It contains the following provisions that are important to Marine Industries:

* Managed Public Mooring Fields – Provides for general permitting of mooring fields not exceeding 100 vessels ; removes availability of a general permit for public marinas, so all marinas will be subject to the standard permitting process. Mooring fields are environmentally friendly and more economical. This language is intended to be an incentive for local governments to consider mooring fields in their area as they will reduce seagrass scarring by providing a place for boaters to tie up their boats instead of anchoring in seagrass areas. Another strong benefit of mooring fields is the provide pump out facilities for vessels.

*Boat Show Leases – Allows for 10-year leases or consents of use for boat show owners; allows reconfigurations of temporary docking facilities within the lease area; simplifies lease fee calculations to be based on the size of the actual preempted area and period of the preemption.

* Boat Show Permits – Directs DEP to issue special events permits, which run concurrently with the consent of use or lease of government property and which also allows movement of temporary structures within the lease area.

* Seawalls – Adopts the federal standard for restoration of seawall restoration. This does not eliminate anyone from occupying lands owned by the Board of Trustees or Water Management District. The language increases restoration of a seawall from it previous location from twelve inches to eighteen inches. This does not affect the permitting requirements of Chapter 161 and DEP rules.

* Multi-family Docks – Adds dock fee reductions for certain multi-family docks so they are more fairly treated as residential docks than commercial docks. This is a fairness issue. This bill treats condo owners with a dock the same as a single family homeowner.


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