(1) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to establish the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program to provide grants, subject to legislative appropriation, to qualified local governmental entities to acquire or develop land for public outdoor recreation purposes. The department shall develop and plan a program that must be based upon the funding appropriated by the Legislature for such purpose.
(2)(a) The department shall adopt, by rule, procedures to govern the program, which shall include, but need not be limited to, a competitive project selection process designed to maximize the outdoor recreation benefit to the public.
(b) Selection criteria shall, at a minimum, rank:
1. The extent to which the project would implement the outdoor recreation goals, objectives, and priorities specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan; and
2. The extent to which the project would provide for priority resource or facility needs in the region as specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan.
(c) Funds may not be released under this program for these public recreation projects until the projects have been selected through the competitive selection process provided for in this section.
(3) A local government may submit up to two grant applications during each application period announced by the department. However, a local government may not have more than three active projects expending grant funds during any state fiscal year. The maximum project grant for each project application may not exceed $200,000 in state funds.