Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1608
       By Senator Mayfield
       17-01624A-20                                          20201608__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Florida National Estuary
    3         Program Act; creating s. 373.45941, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative findings; providing that partnering with
    5         the Federal Government and local governments to
    6         protect specified water resources is an important
    7         state interest; requiring the Department of
    8         Environmental Protection to give funding consideration
    9         to the conservation and management of specified
   10         estuaries identified under the National Estuary
   11         Program; requiring that funds be used for specified
   12         projects; requiring each program receiving funding to
   13         prepare an annual report and submit the report to the
   14         Governor, the Legislature, the department, and the
   15         respective water management districts; specifying
   16         requirements for the report; providing an effective
   17         date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 373.45941, Florida Statutes, is created
   22  to read:
   23         373.45941Florida National Estuary Program Act.—
   24         (1)LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   25         (a)Estuaries in the state designated as estuaries of
   26  national significance by the United States Congress provide
   27  diverse ecologically and economically productive habitats that
   28  support many wildlife populations, such as migratory birds,
   29  commercially valuable fish species, shellfish, and other species
   30  that depend on estuarine environments;
   31         (b)Significant water quality issues in the state arising
   32  from increased pollution from stormwater and agricultural
   33  runoff, wastewater discharges, industrial pollution, and
   34  commercial and recreational waste are degrading the state’s
   35  estuaries of national significance;
   36         (c)Estuaries of national significance identified under the
   37  National Estuary Program are governed and funded by federal,
   38  state, and local governmental entities, including the department
   39  and the respective water management districts;
   40         (d)The natural resource protection and restoration efforts
   41  of the National Estuary Program provide substantial public
   42  health and economic benefits to the state, including its real
   43  estate and tourism sectors;
   44         (e)The state’s estuaries of national significance
   45  encompass 50 percent of its coastline and a large proportion of
   46  its population and are economically, environmentally, and
   47  socially defined by some of the state’s most important and
   48  vulnerable water resources; and
   49         (f)There is an important state interest in partnering with
   50  the Federal Government and local governments to protect the
   51  water resources of the National Estuary Program water bodies in
   52  this state identified in paragraph (2)(a) through restoration
   53  priorities identified in their respective adopted comprehensive
   54  conservation and management plans.
   55         (2)FUNDING.-
   56         (a)The department shall give funding consideration to the
   57  conservation and management of the following programs identified
   58  under the National Estuary Program and designated pursuant to s.
   59  320 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s. 1330:
   60         1.Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program.
   61         2.Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership.
   62         3.Tampa Bay Estuary Program.
   63         4.Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.
   64         (b)Funds provided pursuant to paragraph (a) must be used
   65  for projects identified in the program’s adopted comprehensive
   66  conservation and management plan, including, but not limited to,
   67  projects that:
   68         1.Improve water quality;
   69         2.Improve fisheries and natural habitats;
   70         3.Enhance resiliency and protect human health, safety, and
   71  welfare;
   72         4.Monitor environmental conditions to determine trends and
   73  project success;
   74         5.Promote technology innovation and pilot projects that
   75  support such innovations; or
   76         6.Enhance coastal economies and quality of life.
   77         (3)ANNUAL REPORT.-
   78         (a)Each National Estuary Program receiving recurring
   79  dedicated state funding shall, in coordination with its
   80  respective county and municipal governments, prepare a
   81  comprehensive annual report for water and habitat resource
   82  projects identified for state funding consideration within its
   83  jurisdictions. At a minimum, the report must include the:
   84         1.Funds expended on each listed project in the fiscal year
   85  and the total estimated cost of each project;
   86         2.Estimated completion date of each listed project;
   87         3.Source and amount of financial assistance provided by
   88  county or municipal governments, water management districts, or
   89  other entities for each listed project; and
   90         4.Implementation status of each project that has received
   91  state funding but has not been completed.
   92         (b)By January 1 of each year, each National Estuary
   93  Program receiving recurring dedicated state funding shall submit
   94  its comprehensive annual report to the Governor, the President
   95  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
   96  department, and the appropriate water management districts.
   97         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.