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 Florida Statute 379

5.  Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally takes, disturbs, mutilates, destroys, causes to be destroyed, transfers, sells, offers to sell, molests, or harasses any marine turtle species, or the eggs or nest of any marine turtle species as described in this subsection, commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 379
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
View Entire Chapter
379.2431 Marine animals; regulation.
(1) PROTECTION OF MARINE turtleS.
(a) This subsection may be cited as the “Marine turtle Protection Act.”
(b) The Legislature intends, pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, to ensure that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has the appropriate authority and resources to implement its responsibilities under the recovery plans of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the following species of marine turtle:
1. Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).
2. Atlantic green turtle (Chelonia mydas).
3. Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).
4. Atlantic hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).
5. Atlantic ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi).
(c) As used in this subsection, the following phrases have the following meanings:
1. A “properly accredited person” is:
a. Students of colleges or universities whose studies with saltwater animals are under the direction of their teacher or professor; or
b. Scientific or technical faculty of public or private colleges or universities; or
c. Scientific or technical employees of private research institutions and consulting firms; or
d. Scientific or technical employees of city, county, state, or federal research or regulatory agencies; or
e. Members in good standing or recognized and properly chartered conservation organizations, the Audubon Society, or the Sierra Club; or
f. Persons affiliated with aquarium facilities or museums, or contracted as an agent therefor, which are open to the public with or without an admission fee; or
g. Persons without specific affiliations listed above, but who are recognized by the commission for their contributions to marine conservation such as scientific or technical publications, or through a history of cooperation with the commission in conservation programs such as turtle nesting surveys, or through advanced educational programs such as high school marine science centers.
2. “Take” means an act that actually kills or injures marine turtles, and includes significant habitat modification or degradation that kills or injures marine turtles by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering.
(d) Except as authorized in this paragraph, or unless otherwise provided by the Federal Endangered Species Act or its implementing regulations, a person, firm, or corporation may not:
1. Knowingly possess the eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection.
2. Knowingly take, disturb, mutilate, destroy, cause to be destroyed, transfer, sell, offer to sell, molest, or harass any marine turtles or the eggs or nest of any marine turtles described in this subsection.
3. The commission may issue a special permit or loan agreement to any person, firm, or corporation, to enable the holder to possess a marine turtle or parts thereof, including nests, eggs, or hatchlings, for scientific, education, or exhibition purposes, or for conservation activities such as the relocation of nests, eggs, or marine turtles away from construction sites. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, the commission may issue such special permit or loan agreement to any properly accredited person as defined in paragraph (c) for the purposes of marine turtle conservation.
4. The commission shall have the authority to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to prescribe terms, conditions, and restrictions for marine turtle conservation, and to permit the possession of marine turtles or parts thereof.
(e)1. Any person, firm, or corporation that commits any act prohibited in paragraph (d) involving any egg of any marine turtle species described in this subsection shall pay a penalty of $100 per egg in addition to other penalties provided in this paragraph.
2. Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses 11 or fewer of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a first degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083.
3. For a second or subsequent violation of subparagraph 2., any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses 11 or fewer of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
4. Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses more than 11 of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
5. Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally takes, disturbs, mutilates, destroys, causes to be destroyed, transfers, sells, offers to sell, molests, or harasses any marine turtle species, or the eggs or nest of any marine turtle species as described in this subsection, commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
6. Notwithstanding s. 777.04, any person, firm, or corporation that solicits or conspires with another person, firm, or corporation, to commit an act prohibited by this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
7. The proceeds from the penalties assessed pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.
(f) Any application for a Department of Environmental Protection permit or other type of approval for an activity that affects marine turtles or their nests or habitat shall be subject to conditions and requirements for marine turtle protection as part of the permitting or approval process.
(g) The Department of Environmental Protection may condition the nature, timing, and sequence of construction of permitted activities to provide protection to nesting marine turtles and hatchlings and their habitat pursuant to s. 161.053(4). If the department is considering a permit for a beach restoration, beach renourishment, or inlet sand transfer project and the applicant has had an active marine turtle nest relocation program or the applicant has agreed to and has the ability to administer a program, the department may not restrict the timing of the project. If appropriate, the department, in accordance with the applicable rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall require as a condition of the permit that the applicant relocate and monitor all turtle nests that would be affected by the beach restoration, beach renourishment, or sand transfer activities. Such relocation and monitoring activities shall be conducted in a manner that ensures successful hatching. This limitation on the department’s authority applies only on the Atlantic coast of Florida.
(h) The department shall recommend denial of a permit application if the activity would result in a “take” as defined in this subsection, unless, as provided for in the federal Endangered Species Act and its implementing regulations, such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity.
(i) The department shall give special consideration to beach preservation and beach nourishment projects that restore habitat of endangered marine turtle species. Nest relocation shall be considered for all such projects in urbanized areas. When an applicant for a beach restoration, beach renourishment, or inlet sand transfer project has had an active marine turtle nest relocation program or the applicant has agreed to have and has the ability to administer a program, the department in issuing a permit for a project must not restrict the timing of the project. Where appropriate, the department, in accordance with the applicable rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall require as a condition of the permit that the applicant relocate and monitor all turtle nests that would be affected by the beach restoration, beach renourishment, or sand transfer activities. Such relocation and monitoring activities shall be conducted in a manner that ensures successful hatching. This limitation on the department’s authority applies only on the Atlantic coast of Florida.
(2) PROTECTION OF MANATEES OR SEA COWS.
(a) This subsection shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.”
(b) The State of Florida is hereby declared to be a refuge and sanctuary for the manatee, the “Florida state marine mammal.” The protections extended to and authorized on behalf of the manatee by this act are independent of, and therefore are not contingent upon, its status as a state or federal listed species.
(c) Whenever the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is satisfied that the interest of science will be subserved, and that the application for a permit to possess a manatee or sea cow (Trichechus manatus) is for a scientific or propagational purpose and should be granted, and after concurrence by the United States Department of the Interior, the commission may grant to any person making such application a special permit to possess a manatee or sea cow, which permit shall specify the exact number which shall be maintained in captivity.
(d) Except as may be authorized by the terms of a valid state permit issued pursuant to paragraph (c) or by the terms of a valid federal permit, it is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee; injure or harm or attempt to injure or harm any manatee; capture or collect or attempt to capture or collect any manatee; pursue, hunt, wound, or kill or attempt to pursue, hunt, wound, or kill any manatee; or possess, literally or constructively, any manatee or any part of any manatee.
(e) Any gun, net, trap, spear, harpoon, boat of any kind, aircraft, automobile of any kind, other motorized vehicle, chemical, explosive, electrical equipment, scuba or other subaquatic gear, or other instrument, device, or apparatus of any kind or description used in violation of any provision of paragraph (d) may be forfeited upon conviction. The foregoing provisions relating to seizure and forfeiture of vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies do not apply when such vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies are owned by, or titled in the name of, innocent parties; and such provisions shall not vitiate any valid lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage on such vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies if such lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage is property of public record at the time of the seizure.
(f)1. Except for emergency rules adopted under s. 120.54, all proposed rules of the commission for which a notice of intended agency action is filed proposing to govern the speed and operation of motorboats for purposes of manatee protection shall be submitted to the counties in which the proposed rules will take effect for review by local rule review committees.
2. No less than 60 days prior to filing a notice of rule development in the Florida Administrative Weekly, as provided in s. 120.54(3)(a), the commission shall notify the counties for which a rule to regulate the speed and operation of motorboats for the protection of manatees is proposed. A county so notified shall establish a rule review committee or several counties may combine rule review committees.
3. The county commission of each county in which a rule to regulate the speed and operation of motorboats for the protection of manatees is proposed shall designate a rule review committee. The designated voting membership of the rule review committee must be comprised of waterway users, such as fishers, boaters, water skiers, other waterway users, as compared to the number of manatee and other environmental advocates. A county commission may designate an existing advisory group as the rule review committee. With regard to each committee, fifty percent of the voting members shall be manatee advocates and other environmental advocates, and fifty percent of the voting members shall be waterway users.
4. The county shall invite other state, federal, county, municipal, or local agency representatives to participate as nonvoting members of the local rule review committee.
5. The county shall provide logistical and administrative staff support to the local rule review committee and may request technical assistance from commission staff.
6. Each local rule review committee shall elect a chair and recording secretary from among its voting members.
7. Commission staff shall submit the proposed rule and supporting data used to develop the rule to the local rule review committees.
8. The local rule review committees shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the proposed rule to submit a written report to commission members and staff. The local rule review committees may use supporting data supplied by the commission, as well as public testimony which may be collected by the committee, to develop the written report. The report may contain recommended changes to proposed manatee protection zones or speed zones, including a recommendation that no rule be adopted, if that is the decision of the committee.
9. Prior to filing a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Florida Administrative Weekly as provided in s. 120.54(3)(a), the commission staff shall provide a written response to the local rule review committee reports to the appropriate counties, to the commission members, and to the public upon request.
10. In conducting a review of the proposed manatee protection rule, the local rule review committees may address such factors as whether the best available scientific information supports the proposed rule, whether seasonal zones are warranted, and such other factors as may be necessary to balance manatee protection and public access to and use of the waters being regulated under the proposed rule.
11. The written reports submitted by the local rule review committees shall contain a majority opinion. If the majority opinion is not unanimous, a minority opinion shall also be included.
12. The members of the commission shall fully consider any timely submitted written report submitted by a local rule review committee prior to authorizing commission staff to move forward with proposed rulemaking and shall fully consider any timely submitted subsequent reports of the committee prior to adoption of a final rule. The written reports of the local rule review committees and the written responses of the commission staff shall be part of the rulemaking record and may be submitted as evidence regarding the committee’s recommendations in any proceeding relating to a rule proposed or adopted pursuant to this subsection.
13. The commission is relieved of any obligations regarding the local rule review committee process created in this paragraph if a timely noticed county commission fails to timely designate the required rule review committee.
(g) In order to protect manatees or sea cows from harmful collisions with motorboats or from harassment, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized, in addition to all other authority, to provide a permitting agency with comments regarding the expansion of existing, or the construction of new, marine facilities and mooring or docking slips, by the addition or construction of five or more powerboat slips. The commission shall adopt rules under chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusions that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis:
1. In Lee County: the entire Orange River, including the Tice Florida Power and Light Corporation discharge canal and adjoining waters of the Caloosahatchee River within 1 mile of the confluence of the Orange and Caloosahatchee Rivers.
2. In Brevard County: those portions of the Indian River within three-fourths of a mile of the Orlando Utilities Commission Delespine power plant effluent and the Florida Power and Light Frontenac power plant effluents.
3. In Indian River County: the discharge canals of the Vero Beach Municipal Power Plant and connecting waters within 11/4 miles thereof.
4. In St. Lucie County: the discharge of the Henry D. King Municipal Electric Station and connecting waters within 1 mile thereof.
5. In Palm Beach County: the discharges of the Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach power plant and connecting waters within 11/2 miles thereof.
6. In Broward County: the discharge canal of the Florida Power and Light Port Everglades power plant and connecting waters within 11/2 miles thereof and the discharge canal of the Florida Power and Light Fort Lauderdale power plant and connecting waters within 2 miles thereof. For purposes of ensuring the physical safety of boaters in a sometimes turbulent area, the area from the easternmost edge of the authorized navigation project of the intracoastal waterway east through the Port Everglades Inlet is excluded from this regulatory zone.
7. In Citrus County: headwaters of the Crystal River, commonly referred to as King’s Bay, and the Homosassa River.
8. In Volusia County: Blue Springs Run and connecting waters of the St. Johns River within 1 mile of the confluence of Blue Springs and the St. Johns River; and Thompson Creek, Strickland Creek, Dodson Creek, and the Tomoka River.
9. In Hillsborough County: that portion of the Alafia River from the main shipping channel in Tampa Bay to U.S. Highway 41.
10. In Sarasota County: the Venice Inlet and connecting waters within 1 mile thereof, including Lyons Bay, Donna Bay, Roberts Bay, and Hatchett Creek, excluding the waters of the intracoastal waterway and the right-of-way bordering the centerline of the intracoastal waterway.
11. In Collier County: within the Port of Islands, within section 9, township 52 south, range 28 east, and certain unsurveyed lands, all east-west canals and the north-south canals to the southerly extent of the intersecting east-west canals which lie southerly of the centerline of U.S. Highway 41.
12. In Manatee County: that portion of the Manatee River east of the west line of section 17, range 19 east, township 34 south; the Braden River south of the north line and east of the west line of section 29, range 18 east, township 34 south; Terra Ceia Bay and River, east of the west line of sections 26 and 35 of range 17 east, township 33 south, and east of the west line of section 2, range 17 east, township 34 south; and Bishop Harbor east of the west line of section 13, range 17 east, township 33 south.
13. In Miami-Dade County: those portions of Black Creek lying south and east of the water control dam, including all boat basins and connecting canals within 1 mile of the dam.
(h) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis within that portion of the Indian River between the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County and the Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County and within the Loxahatchee River in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, including the north and southwest forks thereof.
(i) The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis within the Withlacoochee River and its tributaries in Citrus and Levy Counties. The specific areas to be regulated include the Withlacoochee River and the U.S. 19 bridge westward to a line between U.S. Coast Guard markers number 33 and number 34 at the mouth of the river, including all side channels and coves along that portion of the river; Bennets’ Creek from its beginning to its confluence with the Withlacoochee River; Bird’s Creek from its beginning to its confluence with the Withlacoochee River; and the two dredged canal systems on the north side of the Withlacoochee River southwest of Yankeetown.
(j) If any new power plant is constructed or other source of warm water discharge is discovered within the state which attracts a concentration of manatees or sea cows, the commission is directed to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic within the area of such discharge. Such rules shall designate a zone which is sufficient in size, and which shall remain in effect for a sufficient period of time, to protect the manatees or sea cows.
(k) It is the intent of the Legislature to allow the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to post and regulate boat speeds only where the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depth, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a periodic basis. It is not the intent of the Legislature to permit the commission to post and regulate boat speeds generally throughout the waters of the state, thereby unduly interfering with the rights of fishers, boaters, and water skiers using the areas for recreational and commercial purposes. The Legislature further intends that the commission may identify and designate limited lanes or corridors providing for reasonable motorboat speeds within waters of the state whenever such lanes and corridors are consistent with manatee protection.
(l) The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic all year around within Turkey Creek and its tributaries and within Manatee Cove in Brevard County. The specific areas to be regulated consist of:
1. A body of water which starts at Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District structure MS-1, section 35, township 28 south, range 37 east, running east to include all natural waters and tributaries of Turkey Creek, section 26, township 28 south, range 37 east, to the confluence of Turkey Creek and the Indian River, section 24, township 28 south, range 37 east, including all lagoon waters of the Indian River bordered on the west by Palm Bay Point, the north by Castaway Point, the east by the four immediate spoil islands, and the south by Cape Malabar, thence northward along the shoreline of the Indian River to Palm Bay Point.
2. A triangle-shaped body of water forming a cove (commonly referred to as Manatee Cove) on the east side of the Banana River, with northern boundaries beginning and running parallel to the east-west cement bulkhead located 870 feet south of SR 520 Relief Bridge in Cocoa Beach and with western boundaries running in line with the City of Cocoa Beach channel markers 121 and 127 and all waters east of these boundaries in section 34, township 24 south, range 37 east; the center coordinates of this cove are 28°20′14″ north, 80°35′17″ west.
(m) The commission shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 120 relating to the operation and speed of motor boat traffic in port waters with due regard to the safety requirements of such traffic and the navigational hazards related to the movement of commercial vessels.
(n) The commission may designate by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120 other portions of state waters where manatees are frequently sighted and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit such waters periodically. Upon designation of such waters, the commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to regulate motorboat speed and operation which are necessary to protect manatees from harmful collisions with motorboats and from harassment. The commission may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to protect manatee habitat, such as seagrass beds, within such waters from destruction by boats or other human activity. Such rules shall not protect noxious aquatic plants subject to control under s. 369.20.
(o) The commission may designate, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, limited areas as a safe haven for manatees to rest, feed, reproduce, give birth, or nurse undisturbed by human activity. Access by motor boat to private residences, boat houses, and boat docks through these areas by residents, and their authorized guests, who must cross one of these areas to have water access to their property is permitted when the motorboat is operated at idle speed, no wake.
(p) Except in the marked navigation channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway as defined in s. 327.02 and the area within 100 feet of such channel, a local government may regulate, by ordinance, motorboat speed and operation on waters within its jurisdiction where the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis. However, such an ordinance may not take effect until it has been reviewed and approved by the commission. If the commission and a local government disagree on the provisions of an ordinance, a local manatee protection committee must be formed to review the technical data of the commission and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and to resolve conflicts regarding the ordinance. The manatee protection committee must be comprised of:
1. A representative of the commission;
2. A representative of the county;
3. A representative of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
4. A representative of a local marine-related business;
5. A representative of the Save the Manatee Club;
6. A local fisher;
7. An affected property owner; and
8. A representative of the Florida Marine Patrol.

If local and state regulations are established for the same area, the more restrictive regulation shall prevail.

(q) The commission shall evaluate the need for use of fenders to prevent crushing of manatees between vessels (100′ or larger) and bulkheads or wharves in counties where manatees have been crushed by such vessels. For areas in counties where evidence indicates that manatees have been crushed between vessels and bulkheads or wharves, the commission shall:
1. Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 requiring use of fenders for construction of future bulkheads or wharves; and
2. Implement a plan and time schedule to require retrofitting of existing bulkheads or wharves consistent with port bulkhead or wharf repair or replacement schedules.

The fenders shall provide sufficient standoff from the bulkhead or wharf under maximum operational compression to ensure that manatees cannot be crushed between the vessel and the bulkhead or wharf.

(r) Any violation of a restricted area established by this subsection, or established by rule pursuant to chapter 120 or ordinance pursuant to this subsection, shall be considered a violation of the boating laws of this state and shall be charged on a uniform boating citation as provided in s. 327.74, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (s). Any person who refuses to post a bond or accept and sign a uniform boating citation shall, as provided in s. 327.73(3), be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(s) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, any person violating the provisions of this subsection or any rule or ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection commits a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s. 379.407(1)(a) or (b).
1. Any person operating a vessel in excess of a posted speed limit shall be guilty of a civil infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73, except as provided in subparagraph 2.
2. This paragraph does not apply to persons violating restrictions governing “No Entry” zones or “Motorboat Prohibited” zones, who, if convicted, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s. 379.407(1)(a) or (b), or, if such violation demonstrates blatant or willful action, may be found guilty of harassment as described in paragraph (d).
3. A person may engage in any activity otherwise prohibited by this subsection or any rule or ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection if the activity is reasonably necessary in order to prevent the loss of human life or a vessel in distress due to weather conditions or other reasonably unforeseen circumstances, or in order to render emergency assistance to persons or a vessel in distress.
(t)1. In order to protect manatees and manatee habitat, the counties identified in the Governor and Cabinet’s October 1989 Policy Directive shall develop manatee protection plans consistent with commission criteria based upon “Schedule K” of the directive, and shall submit such protection plans for review and approval by the commission. Any manatee protection plans not submitted by July 1, 2004, and any plans not subsequently approved by the commission shall be addressed pursuant to subparagraph 2.
2. No later than January 1, 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall designate any county it has identified as a substantial risk county for manatee mortality as a county that must complete a manatee protection plan by July 1, 2006. The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to s. 120.54 for identifying substantial risk counties and establishing criteria for approval of manatee protection plans for counties so identified. Manatee protection plans shall include the following elements at a minimum: education about manatees and manatee habitat; boater education; an assessment of the need for new or revised manatee protection speed zones; local law enforcement; and a boat facility siting plan to address expansion of existing and the development of new marinas, boat ramps, and other multislip boating facilities.
3. Counties required to adopt manatee protection plans under this paragraph shall incorporate the boating facility siting element of those protection plans within their respective comprehensive plans.
4. Counties that have already adopted approved manatee protection plans, or that adopt subsequently approved manatee protection plans by the effective date of this act, are in compliance with the provisions of this paragraph so long as they incorporate their approved boat facility siting plan into the appropriate element of their local comprehensive plan no later than July 1, 2003.
(u)1. Existing state manatee protection rules shall be given great weight in determining whether additional rules are necessary in a region where the measurable goals developed pursuant to s. 379.2291 have been achieved. However, the commission may amend existing rules or adopt new rules to address risks or circumstances in a particular area or waterbody to protect manatees.
2. As used in this paragraph, the term “region” means one of the four geographic areas defined by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the Florida Manatee Recovery Plan, 3rd revision (October 30, 2001).
(3) PROTECTION OF MAMMALIAN DOLPHINS (PORPOISES).It is unlawful to catch, attempt to catch, molest, injure, kill, or annoy, or otherwise interfere with the normal activity and well-being of, mammalian dolphins (porpoises), except as may be authorized by a federal permit.
(4) ANNUAL FUNDING OF PROGRAMS FOR MARINE ANIMALS.
(a) Each fiscal year the Save the Manatee Trust Fund shall be available to fund an impartial scientific benchmark census of the manatee population in the state. Weather permitting, the study shall be conducted annually by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the results shall be made available to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor and Cabinet for use in the evaluation and development of manatee protection measures. In addition, the Save the Manatee Trust Fund shall be available for annual funding of activities of public and private organizations and those of the commission intended to provide manatee and marine mammal protection and recovery effort; manufacture and erection of informational and regulatory signs; production, publication, and distribution of educational materials; participation in manatee and marine mammal research programs, including carcass salvage and other programs; programs intended to assist the recovery of the manatee as an endangered species, assist the recovery of the endangered or threatened marine mammals, and prevent the endangerment of other species of marine mammals; and other similar programs intended to protect and enhance the recovery of the manatee and other species of marine mammals.
(b) By December 1 each year, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall provide the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written report, enumerating the amounts and purposes for which all proceeds in the Save the Manatee Trust Fund for the previous fiscal year are expended, in a manner consistent with those recovery tasks enumerated within the manatee recovery plan as required by the Endangered Species Act.
(c) When the federal and state governments remove the manatee from status as an endangered or threatened species, the annual allocation may be reduced.
(d) Up to 10 percent of the annual use fee deposited in the Save the Manatee Trust Fund from the sale of the manatee license plate authorized in s. 320.08058 may be used to promote and market the license plate issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after June 30, 2007.
History.s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-771; s. 1, ch. 59-483; s. 1, ch. 67-2198; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-48; s. 1, ch. 70-357; s. 1, ch. 71-120; s. 289, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 1A, ch. 71-145; s. 1, ch. 74-20; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 78-252; s. 79, ch. 79-164; s. 6, ch. 81-228; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-170; s. 1, ch. 83-81; s. 68, ch. 84-338; s. 10, ch. 85-234; s. 7, ch. 89-168; s. 1, ch. 89-314; s. 5, ch. 90-219; s. 3, ch. 91-199; s. 2, ch. 91-215; s. 1, ch. 93-83; s. 1, ch. 93-254; s. 226, ch. 94-356; s. 991, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-248; s. 31, ch. 96-321; s. 3, ch. 97-272; s. 2, ch. 98-200; ss. 7, 17, ch. 98-227; s. 154, ch. 99-13; s. 45, ch. 99-245; s. 35, ch. 99-289; s. 2, ch. 2000-153; s. 36, ch. 2000-197; s. 5, ch. 2001-62; s. 16, ch. 2002-264; s. 1, ch. 2003-59; s. 3, ch. 2003-111; s. 1, ch. 2003-156; s. 1, ch. 2004-343; s. 7, ch. 2007-223; s. 73, ch. 2008-247; s. 192, ch. 2010-102.
Note.Former s. 370.12.

 

 

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