NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
DIVISION: Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas
DOCKET NO.: 02-50R
RULE CHAPTER TITLE: 18 RULE CHAPTER NO.: 18-23
RULE TITLE: State Buffer Preserves
RULE NO.: 18-23.002; 18-23.007; 18-23.010
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA)
is proposing to amend Chapter18-23, Florida Administrative Code, to ensure
that the State Buffer Preserves and natural upland islands within the
State Aquatic Preserves are appropriately managed to protect their natural
and cultural resources for today’s citizens and for future generations.
The amendment will apply to all uplands managed by CAMA, which have expanded
from the old Buffer Preserves listed in rule 18-23.002(4)(a). Rule 18-23.002(4)(a)
has been deleted because it is inaccurate as to some of the areas described,
and it does not include all uplands currently managed by CAMA. Describing
the boundary of each Buffer Preserve in the rule is not practicable because
the Buffer Preserves are constantly changing in size and shape as more
lands are acquired by Board of Trustees under the Florida Forever Act
and leased to CAMA. However, the rule has provided an address and telephone
number so that any person requesting the boundaries of any Buffer Preserve
can obtain them as they exist when the person requests the information.
Chapter 18-23 does not include spoil islands, which are sovereignty submerged
lands, not uplands, and spoil islands are not subject to this chapter.
The language in rule 18-23.002(3), stating the management goals of CAMA,
has been clarified, but the goals have not substantially changed.
Rule 18-23.007 has been substantially renumbered and partially reorganized
to clarify which activities in Buffer Preserves are prohibited and which
are limited. Two activities formerly listed in rules 18-23.007(16) and
(18) have been deleted. The language of the prohibited and limited activities
has been clarified. A waiver of prohibitions and limitations imposed by
this section has been added for Department employees or certain designees.
New rule 18-23.010 has been added to implement the provisions of section
253.86, Fla. Stat., enacted in 2001, specifying civil fines of up to $500
for violations of the rules promulgated under that section. Subsection
(1) provides fines for three categories of violations. The amount for
violation of each paragraph of rules 18-23.002(a) and (b) has been provided
in subsection 18-23.010(1). The procedure for notification of the person
in violation has been added as subsection (2).
SUMMARY: The rule is being amended to: (1) delete the currently-described
Buffer Preserves and provide for the rule to apply to all Buffer Preserves
and natural islands within Aquatic Preserves; (2) advise the public where
it can obtain information about boundaries of current Buffer Preserves;
(3) clarify the management goals of CAMA for the Buffer Preserves; (4)
clarify which activities are prohibited and which are limited in the Buffer
Preserves; (5) provide for limitations and restrictions to be waived under
certain circumstances; (6) provide for fines for violations of the rule;
and (7) provide amounts of fines and procedure for notification to the
violator of such fines.
SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COST: None has been prepared.
Any person who wishes to provide information regarding the statement of
estimated regulatory costs, or to provide a proposal for a lower cost
regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 253.86(1), F.S.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 253.86, ch. 258, Part II, F.S.
A HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED AND WILL BE HELD AS FOLLOWS:
DATE: February 6, 2003
TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
PLACE: West Melbourne Public Library, 2755 Wingate Blvd., West Melbourne,
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any
person requiring special accommodations to participate in this hearing
is asked to advise the agency at least 48 hours before the workshop by
contacting the Bureau of Personnel Services at (850) 488-2996. If you
are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Service
by calling (800) 955-8771 (TDD).
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE: Danny Riley, Office
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Mail Station
235, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000, (850) 245-2094.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:
CHAPTER 18-23 STATE BUFFER PRESERVES
18-23.001 Definitions. (Repealed)
18-23.002 Scope and Goals Intent.
18-23.003 Purpose. (Repealed)
18-23.004 Boundaries of the State Buffer Preserves. (Repealed)
18-23.005 State Buffer Preserve Property. (Repealed)
18-23.006 Recreation Activities. (Repealed)
18-23.007 Limitations on Activities in Buffer Preserves.
18-23.008 Management Plans. (Repealed)
18-23.009 Enforcement. (Repealed)
18-23.002 Scope and Goals Intent.
(1) The rules of this chapter are supplemental to Chapter 18-2, F.A.C.
(Management of Uplands Vested in the Board of Trustees). This chapter
applies to all lands managed by the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed
Areas that are on mainlands above the mean or ordinary high water line
adjacent to aquatic preserves, and to natural islands lying within the
Aquatic Preserves designated in chapter 258, Part II, F.S., owned by the
State. This chapter does not include spoil islands. The lands subject
to this chapter are collectively entitled "Buffer Preserves."
Any lands above the mean or ordinary high water line that are within state
buffer preserve boundary and are managed by the Office of Coastal and
Aquatic Managed Areas shall be managed in accordance with this rule.
(2) Contact the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Department
of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 235, Tallahassee,
FL 32399-3000 (telephone 850/245-2094) for specific information regarding
the geographic locations and boundaries of the Buffer Preserves. The policies,
standards and criteria in this rule are supplemental to Chapter 18-2,
F.A.C. (Management of Uplands Vested in the Board of Trustees), and shall
be utilized in the management of all state buffer preserve properties.
(3) The management goals of the Buffer Ppreserves are to:
(a) To Cconserve and preserve natural ecological values of ecosystems
(b) (g) To Pprovide public access visitation and recreation that is compatible
with natural and cultural resource conservation; .
(c) (b) To Pprotect and preserve wetlands, natural and water resources
of adjacent aquatic preserves, parks and other special management areas
administered by either the Department or other state, or federal, or local
(d) (c) To Pprotect and preserve native plant and animal species and natural
communities, particularly any that are endangered or threatened;
(e) (d) To Rrestore natural communities and original ecosystem functions,
which have been historically degraded, to the greatest extent possible;
(f) (e)To Pprotect archaeological/historical/cultural resources; and
(g) (f) To Eenhance public appreciation for elements of natural and cultural
(4) Persons interested in obtaining details or legal descriptions of a
particular preserve should contact the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed
Areas, Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard,
Tallahassee, FL 32399 (telephone 904/488-3456).
(a) The preserves are described as follows:
1. Charlotte Harbor State Buffer Preserve, as described in the Official
Records of Lee County in Book 1050, pages 1656-1660 and 1672-1678; Book
1067, pages 1989-1995; Book 1161, pages 305-307; Book 1268, pages 1972-1994;
Book 1685, pages 3863 and 3864; Book 1763, page 46; Book 1791, pages 4492-4494;
Book 1794, pages 940-948; Book 2348, pages 1843-1847; and in the Official
Records of Charlotte County in Book 565, pages 1096, 1168, and 1723-1765;
Book 567, pages 1183-1191; Book 569, pages 535, and 520-530; Book 571,
pages 1778-1809; Book 597, pages 1490-1498; Book 616, page 771; Book 715,
pages 406 and 407; Book 886, pages 2046 and 2047; Book 951, pages 2138-2143;
and Book 953, pages 1384-1386.
2. Coupon Bight State Buffer Preserve, as described in the Official Records
of Monroe County in Book 997, page 999; Book 1078, pages 1094, 1095, 1153,
1425, 1462, and 2098; Book 1082, page 1818; Book 1084, page 2156; Book
1085, page 1483; Book 1092, page 878; Book 1097, page 2299; Book 1104,
pages 578 and 579; Book 1116, page 1649; Book 1117, pages 1113 and 1134;
Book 1119, page 1785; Book 1120, pages 1642 and 1645; Book 1123, page
743; Book 1131; pages 1377, 1730, and 1731; Book 1145, pages 1007, 1008,
and 1336; Book 1151, page 1301; Book 1155, page 720; Book 1225, pages
1236 and 1237; and Book 1229, pages 962 and 963.
3. Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve, as described in the Official Records
of Lee County in Book 1924, pages 2148-2150; Book 2125, pages 84-86; and
Book 2207, pages 4418-4439.
Specific Authority 253.86(1) 253.03 FS.
Law Implemented 253.86, ch. 258, Part II 259.032 FS.
History—New 8-7-94, Amended 5-8-96, _______________.
18-23.007 Limitations on Activities in Buffer Preserves.
[The first unnumbered paragraph is renumbered as (2), below.]
(1) The Buffer Ppreserves shall be open to the public from sunrise to
until sunset, except for those that are natural islands, which shall remain
open at all times unless otherwise closed pursuant to the authority of
the rules of this chapter unless otherwise posted. Visitors are required
to notify the preserve manager of their intent to occupy the preserve
during closed hours. The Department in furtherance of the policy and intent
of Chapter 253, F.S., shall close any preserve or section thereof to the
public at any time or for any interval of time, when necessary in order
to protect the public’s health, safety or welfare due to causes
such as fire, severe weather conditions, natural hazards, management activities
or environmental conditions.
(2) In order Tto conserve, preserve and restore the natural and cultural
resources of the preserves and ensure the safety and enjoyment of their
visitors, the following uses or activities shall may be limited or prohibited
within the boundaries of the Buffer Ppreserves. The Buffer Ppreserve manager
shall verbally authorize such activities only in the case of a life-threatening
emergency or as part of a natural resource management program designed
to promote environmental protection, which is approved by the Department.
Any other authorization for any prohibited or limited activity may be
sought by submitting a written request to the Department of Environmental
Protection, Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, 3900 Commonwealth
Boulevard, MS 235, Tallahassee, Fl 32399-3000. A written request shall,
at a minimum, contain the following information: name of requestor, contact
person, address, telephone number, location of proposed activity, reason
for proposed activity, number of people expected to participate in the
proposed activity, how the requestor will avoid damage to natural and
cultural resources, and how the requestor will address public safety,
if needed. Such requests shall only be granted if the Department determines
that the proposed activity would not damage the natural or cultural resources.
Such authorizations shall include any restrictions necessary to protect
natural and cultural resources and shall contain provisions for revocation.
The number of authorizations issued shall be limited by the Department
if necessary to avoid cumulative impacts or address public safety concerns.
(a) Prohibited Activities:
(2) 1. Possession and Cconsumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
This does not apply to the natural islands of the Buffer Preserves.
(3) 2. Use of vVehicles may not be used on in areas other than designated
public access preserve roads.
(4) 3. Hunting, harassing, possessing or trapping of wildlife is prohibited.
(5) No person shall otherwise possess, trap, harass or hunt any animal
(6) 4. Also prohibited are all Use of animal trapping or concealment devices
and the erection of any structure for the purpose of concealment. Shooting
into preserve areas from beyond preserve boundaries is prohibited.
(7) 5. The Uuse or possession of firearms of any type or other weapons
potentially dangerous to wildlife and humans, including shooting into
Buffer Preserves from beyond the boundaries safety are prohibited.
(8) 6. Admission of uUnleashed domestic animals are prohibited, except
those assisting the handicapped.
(13) 7. The tTransplantation or removal of any plant or animal, or parts
of plants or animals life (living or dead) from any buffer preserve is
prohibited, except as provided herein. Any person, upon being convicted
of a violation of this rule, shall be accountable for all costs in reparation
to the area of violation which shall be determined by biological assessment.
(17) 8. Any Rremoval, disturbance, pollution or destruction of property,
or natural, historic, or cultural resources. No person shall, regardless
of intent, destroy, dig, or remove from any preserve area or the waters
thereof any plant, animal, artifact, or other material. The mutilation,
displacement, or breaking off of any water bottom formation or growth
is also prohibited. Such person, upon being convicted of a violation of
this rule shall be accountable for all costs in reparation to the area
of violation which shall be determined by biological assessment.
(15) 9. Personal watercraft Motor vehicle or vessel operation in interior
water bodies, wetlands, or low lying areas, except those so designated
for such use with signs and referenced on the base map of the preserve.
(14) 10. Solicitation or distribution of commercial materials and advertising
of any commercial event, other than Ddepartment materials or announcements
of Department-preserve-sponsored or sanctioned events and gatherings.
(18) Authorizations for any prohibited activity shall be obtained by submitting
a written request to the Department of Environmental Protection, Office
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Mail
Station 235, Tallahassee, FL 32399. Authorizations shall only be granted
if the Department determines that the proposed activity would not unfavorably
affect or damage areas of the preserve. Authorizations shall include restrictions
based on resource protection concerns and shall contain conditions for
revocation. The number of authorizations issued shall be limited by the
Department based on cumulative impacts or public safety concerns. The
Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas shall respond to all authorizations
within 60 days of the date of receipt of the written request.
(b) Limited Activities:
(9) 1. Hiking, horseback riding, and bicycle riding shall be restricted
to trails or preserve roads specifically designated for those each such
(10) 2. Camping may be conducted only in at designated areas.
(11) 3. Fires are allowed only in designated areas only.
(12) 4. Visitors shall be responsible for the proper disposal of aAll
waste-water, refuse and trash shall be disposed of properly by placing
it in designated containers, if provided, or removed to an off-site disposal
facility or receptacle.
(c) Waiver of Restrictions for Property Management.
The prohibition or limitation of activities in this section shall not
apply to Department staff or cooperating management agencies, volunteers,
or contractors conducting management activities that are approved by the
Department, consistent with a management plan approved by the Board of
Trustees, and authorized in accordance with Chapter 18-2 F.A.C., if such
authorization is required.
The Department, in furtherance of the policy and intent of Chapter 253,
F.S., shall close any Buffer Preserve or section thereof to the public
at any time and for any interval of time, when necessary to protect: public
health, safety or welfare due to causes such as fire, weather conditions,
natural hazards, management activities or environmental conditions; natural
resources such as seasonally nesting birds at a specific site; and cultural
resources such as Indian middens. Staff of the Department’s Office
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas shall post the closings.
Specific Authority 253.86(1) 253.03 FS.
Law Implemented 253.86, ch. 258, Part II 253.03, 253.034, 253.04, 253.05,
253.12, 253.127 FS.
History--New 8-7-94, Amended 5-8-96, _______________.
(1) Violation of the rules of this chapter constitutes a non-criminal
infraction and shall be punishable by fines as follows:
(a) A Non-Destructive Violation, which includes violation of the following
rules:18-23.007(2)(a)1. or 10., or (2)(b) 4. is punishable by a fine of
(b) A Resource Damage Violation which includes violation of the following
rules:18-23.007(2)(a)2., 4., 6., 7., 8., or 9., or (2)(b)1. or 2. is punishable
by a fine of $250.
(c) A Public Danger Violation, which includes violation of the following
rules: 18-23.007 (2)(a)3. or 5. or (2)(b)3. is punishable by a fine of
(2) Violators shall be notified of the rule(s) violated and the amount
of the fine by issuance of a non-criminal citation by a certified law
Specific Authority 253.86(2) FS.
Law Implemented 253.86 FS.
History – New_____________.
NAME OF PERSON ORIGINATING PROPOSED RULE: Danny Riley, Office of Coastal
and Aquatic Managed Areas, address and phone above.
NAME OF SUPERVISOR OR PERSON WHO APPROVED THE PROPOSED RULE: Katherine
Andrews, Director, Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, address
and phone above.
DATE PROPOSED RULE APPROVED BY AGENCY HEAD: November 1, 2002.
DATE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND SUMMARY PUBLISHED, PURSUANT
TO SEC. 120.551, F.S., IN THE DEPARTMENT’S OFFICIAL NOTICE INTERNET
SITE AT WWW.DEP.STATE.FL.US UNDER THE LINK TITLED "OFFICIAL NOTICES,"
AND IN FAW Volume 28, No. 46, November 15, 2002.
P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail
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Copyright © 2001 by Standing Watch. All rights reserved.