Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protecting Florida's Public Lands (and Water)

Yesterday, the ACA strongly opposed Florida House Bill 1103 proposed by Rep. Goodson. The proposed bill provides criteria for determining location of "ordinary high-water line" for navigable, nontidal waterbodies. If passed, this bill could trigger the loss of tens of thousands of acres of state-owned sovereign submerged lands at the edge of rivers, lakes and streams by changing the definition of  the ordinary high water mark, which specifies the boundary of state-owned lands. Lowering this mark would make now public lands vulnerable to privatization and would result in losses in environmental protection; revenue from lease fees; and public access to Florida's waterways for paddlers, sportsman, and recreational enthusiasts. 

ACA's opposition to the proposed bill was delivered to Rep. Goodson and committees of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee at yesterday's session to consider the bill. The Florida Senate has an identical bill (SB 1362) that was introduced January 13, 2012. If passed, this legislation would go into effect on July 1, 2012. 


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