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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 882 — Inventories of Critical Wetlands

by CS/CS/SB 882 — Inventories of Critical Wetlands by Rules Committee; Community Affairs Committee; and Senator Brodeur

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Environment and Natural Resources Committee (EN)

The bill requires water management districts, in cooperation with local governments, to develop a list of critical wetlands to be acquired through the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. The bill provides criteria to determine if a wetland is critical, including the ecological value of the wetland, the effect of the wetland on water quality and flood mitigation, the ecosystem restoration value of the wetland, and the inherent susceptibility of the wetland to development.

The bill directs each water management district’s governing board to notify the owner of any property that the district contemplates including on the critical wetlands list before it adopts or amends the list. If at any time a property owner wishes to have their property removed from the list, they must submit by certified mail a letter stating they wish their property to be removed and sufficiently identifying such property to the governing board. The governing board shall approve removal if the requirements are met.

The bill requires water management districts opting to utilize an annual strategic plan to include a list of critical wetlands in the plan.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2022.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 111-2