FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
This information was presented by Surfrider Foundation FL Regional Coordinator, Holly Parker, at our February meeting.
Ocean Outfall Bill
It’s back! Since the Surfrider Foundation successfully passed an Ocean Outfall Closure bill in 2009, there have been numerous attempts to delay or weaken its implementation. This year, like the last two years, is no exception. Senator Diaz de la Portilla (Miami-Dade) submitted SB444, titled “Domestic Wastewater Discharged Through Ocean Outfalls”.
Oil Drilling in Blackwater River State Forest
You may have already heard rumblings of a new bill proposing oil drilling on state lands. There is a bill proposing oil/gas exploration on state lands, but it is limited to the Blackwater River State Park (near Milton). We will be keeping an eye on this bill to make sure it doesn’t morph into anything broader, but the good news is that identical legislation was filed last session and promptly killed after substantial public outcry. Stay tuned for more as there are additional developments. Learn more here: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49579
FLORIDA DEP Beach Management Funding Assistance Program
The DEP has released its list of local projects though the Beach Management Funding Program. Once this list is approved, these projects will be fast tracked and we’ll have a much harder time stopping them. You can also see each individual funding request application here: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/beaches/programs/becp/fund-req.htm
Nassau County Shore Protection Project
Nourishment of approximately 4.4 miles of Atlantic shoreline between DEP Monuments R11 and R34. Restoration was completed in 2008 and nourishment is scheduled for nourishment 2014.
St. Johns County Shore Protection Project
Nourishment of approximately 2.9 miles of shoreline between DEP Monuments R137 – R151 in St. Johns County. The project includes 0.9 miles of beach within Anastasia Island State Recreation Area. Restoration of the federal project and the non-federal extension within the state recreation area was completed in 2003. Emergency nourishment was completed in 2005 based on damages sustained during the 2004 hurricane season.
Seismic Testing Delay
Good news! The US Department of the Interior has delayed a decision on whether to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic until October. For those chapters working on this campaign, that means you have several more months to push petitions, sign-on letters, and public outreach events. Learn more about seismic testing here: http://action.surfrider.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6937
Surfrider at the Florida State Capitol!
Save the date for our lobby day at the State Capitol on April 4, 2013. Details to come.