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Wetlands

 

Wetland Committee Mission Statement:

The FLERA Wetlands Committee is comprised primarily of and for the benefit of local governments’ wetland management professionals, to assist in accomplishing their missions to effectively protect and manage local wetland resources.  This is accomplished in three primary ways:

  • Identify current and upcoming issues that affect local governments’ protection and management of wetlands
  • Disseminate information to FLERA members on these topics
  • Advocate changes beneficial to local management of wetland resources

 

Key Topics of Emphasis or Discussion

  1. RESTORE Act—technical resources, links, powerpoints etc.; FDEP interaction (Mimi Drew/RESTORE liaison)
  2. USACE wetland jurisdiction—
    1. See  Natl Assn of Counties (NACo) summary  http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/Current%20Issue/11-17-2014/Pages/NACo-urges-feds-to-withdraw-and-clarify–Waters-of-the-U-S–proposal.aspx;
    2. Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 11–1447. Argued January 15, 2013—Decided June 25, 2013)
  3. Simplify regulatory delegation from FDEP (Mike Halpin) and/or USACE (Stu Santos); allow local program to continue to implement local provisions that are more protective than state ERP criteria.
    1. One permit, one process
    2. Local criteria included
  4. Schedule a teleconference/discussion with FDEP (John Humphreys, Eric Hickman, Mike Halpin) regarding UMAM to assure adaptability to locally unique or sensitive resources by locally knowledgeable scientists and wetland managers; maintain value of scientific judgment; reduce costs and uncertainty by providing training to local government staff prior to implementation.
    1. Links to UMAM on FDEP website:
      1. Draft UMAM worksheets, webinar materials and notes ftp://ftp.dep.state.fl.us/pub/outgoing/UMAM_RULE/
      2. FDEP rule-development website for UMAM http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/mitigation/umam/index.htm
  5. Protect coastal wetlands, including estuarine wetlands and freshwater/oligohaline tidal wetlands affected by saltwater intrusion, sea-level rise.  Restore natural freshwater flow to coastal wetlands.

 

Top 3 FLERA 2015 Legislative Agenda Items

  1. Protect home rule, including regulation and protection of natural resources; allow greater protection pursuant to local government criteria.
    • Concur with the adopted 2015 legislative policy statements and Regulatory Streamlining legislative priorities of the FLERA Board of Directors.
  2. Implement Amendment 1 to acquire and manage endangered lands as new funding; implement as new funding rather than replacing existing funds; maximize cost-effectiveness and job creation through partnership with local government land management departments
    • Concur with the 2015 legislative positions regarding Amendment 1 adopted by the FLERA Land Management Committee and FLERA Board of Directors
  3. Florida legislature and USACE issue:  Allow mitigation on regionally significant public conservation lands, particularly for economically important local development and infrastructure.  This will help to attract economic develop while also assuring long-term cost effectiveness of natural resource management/ maintenance,  public-private partnership, and passive recreational value of management of public lands.
    • SUPPORT efforts to amend 373.4135(b), F.S. to create flexibility in the ability of local governments to provide wetland mitigation on public conservation lands to attract  projects designated by a local government entity as important for economic development

Committee Members Contact Info

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