(1) DESIGNATION.—Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, as hereinafter described to include Card Sound, is designated and established as an aquatic preserve under the provisions of this section. It is the intent of the Legislature that Biscayne Bay be preserved in an essentially natural condition so that its biological and aesthetic values may endure for the enjoyment of future generations.
(a) For the purposes of this section, Biscayne Bay, sometimes referred to in this section as “the preserve,” shall be comprised of the body of water in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties known as Biscayne Bay whose boundaries are generally defined as follows:
Begin at the southwest intersection of the right-of-way of State Road 826 and the mean high-water line of Biscayne Bay (Township 52 South, Range 42 East, Miami-Dade County); thence southerly along the westerly mean high-water line of Biscayne Bay to its intersection with the right-of-way of State Road 905A (Township 59 South, Range 40 East, Monroe County); thence easterly along such right-of-way to the easterly mean high-water line of Biscayne Bay; thence northerly along the easterly mean high-water line of Biscayne Bay following the westerly shores of the most easterly islands and Keys with connecting lines drawn between the closest points of adjacent islands to the southeasterly intersection of the right-of-way of State Road 826 and the mean high-water line of Biscayne Bay; thence westerly to the point of beginning. Said boundary extends across the mouths of all artificial waterways, but includes all natural waterways tidally connected to Biscayne Bay. Excluded from the preserve are those submerged lands conveyed to the United States for the establishment of the Biscayne National Monument as defined by Pub. L. No. 90-606 of the United States.
(b) The preserve established by this section shall include the submerged bottom lands and the water column upon such lands, as well as all publicly owned islands, within the boundaries of the preserve. Any privately held upland within the boundaries of the preserve shall be deemed to be excluded therefrom. However, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may negotiate an arrangement with any such private upland owner by which such land may be included in the preserve.
(c) The board of trustees may transfer to the United States any interest in lands, title to which is vested in the board of trustees, which are presently within the boundaries of the preserve for inclusion in the Biscayne National Monument or its successor should the area be designated a national park. Transfers of interest under this paragraph shall be subject to the following conditions:
1. All interests in oil, gas, or other mineral rights held by the board of trustees shall be retained and not transferred to the United States.
2. All rights to fish on the waters shall be retained and not transferred to the United States.
3. All rights to impose and collect state excise taxes on the sales of alcohol or tobacco shall be retained and not transferred to the United States.
4. Transfers of interest shall be subject to outstanding easements, reservations, or other interests appearing of record.
(3) AUTHORITY OF TRUSTEES.—The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is authorized and directed to maintain the aquatic preserve hereby created pursuant and subject to the following provisions:
(a) No further sale, transfer, or lease of sovereignty submerged lands in the preserve shall be approved or consummated by the board of trustees, except upon a showing of extreme hardship on the part of the applicant and a determination by the board of trustees that such sale, transfer, or lease is in the public interest.
(b) No further dredging or filling of submerged lands of the preserve shall be approved or tolerated by the board of trustees except:
1. Such minimum dredging and spoiling as may be authorized for public navigation projects or for such minimum dredging and spoiling as may be constituted as a public necessity or for preservation of the bay according to the expressed intent of this section.
2. Such other alteration of physical conditions, including the placement of riprap, as may be necessary to enhance the quality and utility of the preserve.
3. Such minimum dredging and filling as may be authorized for the creation and maintenance of marinas, piers, and docks and their attendant navigation channels and access roads. Such projects may only be authorized upon a specific finding by the board of trustees that there is assurance that the project will be constructed and operated in a manner that will not adversely affect the water quality and utility of the preserve. This subparagraph shall not authorize the connection of upland canals to the waters of the preserve.
4. Such dredging as is necessary for the purpose of eliminating conditions hazardous to the public health or for the purpose of eliminating stagnant waters, islands, and spoil banks, the dredging of which would enhance the aesthetic and environmental quality and utility of the preserve and be clearly in the public interest as determined by the board of trustees.
Any dredging or filling under this subsection or improvements under subsection (5) shall be approved only after public notice as provided by s. 253.115.
(c) There shall be no drilling of wells, excavation for shell or minerals, or erection of structures other than docks within the preserve unless such activity is associated with activity authorized by this section.
(d) The board of trustees shall not approve any seaward relocation of bulkhead lines or further establishment of bulkhead lines except when a proposed bulkhead line is located at the line of mean high water along the shoreline. Construction, replacement, or relocation of seawalls shall be prohibited without the approval of the board of trustees, which approval may be granted only if riprap construction is used in the seawall. The board may grant approval under this paragraph by a letter of consent.
(e) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the board of trustees may, respecting lands lying within Biscayne Bay:
1. Enter into agreements for and establish lines delineating sovereignty and privately owned lands.
2. Enter into agreements for the exchange of, and exchange, sovereignty lands for privately owned lands.
3. Accept gifts of land within or contiguous to the preserve.
4. Negotiate for, and enter into agreements with owners of lands contiguous to sovereignty lands for, any public and private use of any of such lands.
5. Take any and all actions convenient for, or necessary to, the accomplishment of any and all of the acts and matters authorized by this paragraph.
6. Conduct restoration and enhancement efforts in Biscayne Bay and its tributaries.
7. Stabilize eroding shorelines of Biscayne Bay and its tributaries that are contributing to turbidity by planting natural vegetation to the greatest extent feasible and by the placement of riprap, as determined by Miami-Dade County in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection.
8. Request the South Florida Water Management District to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Environmental Protection, the Biscayne National Park Service, the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management and, at their option, the Corps of Engineers to include enhanced marine productivity in Biscayne Bay as an objective when operating the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control projects consistently with the goals of the water management district, including flood protection, water supply, and environmental protection.
(a) The board of trustees shall adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section and specifically to provide:
1. Additional preserve management criteria as may be necessary to accommodate special circumstances.
2. Regulation of human activity within the preserve in such a manner as not to interfere unreasonably with lawful and traditional public uses of the preserve, such as fishing (both sport and commercial), boating, and swimming.
(b) Other uses of the preserve, or human activity within the preserve, although not originally contemplated, may be permitted by the board of trustees, but only subsequent to a formal finding of compatibility with the purposes of this section.
(c) Fishing involving the use of seines or nets is prohibited in the preserve, except when the fishing is for shrimp or mullet and such fishing is otherwise permitted by state law or rules promulgated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As used in this paragraph, the terms “seines” or “nets” shall not include landing nets, cast nets, or bully nets.
(5) RIPARIAN RIGHTS.—Neither the establishment nor the management of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve shall operate to infringe upon the riparian rights of upland property owners adjacent to or within the preserve. Reasonable improvement for ingress and egress, mosquito control, shore protection, public utility expansion, and similar purposes may be permitted by the board of trustees or Department of Environmental Protection, subject to the provisions of any other applicable laws under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
(6) DISCHARGE OF WASTES PROHIBITED.—No wastes or effluents which substantially inhibit the accomplishment of the purposes of this section shall be discharged into the preserve. In order to ensure that these objectives are met, the following shall be required:
(a) The Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District and Miami-Dade County, shall investigate stormwater management practices within the watershed and shall develop a corrective plan for management and treatment of stormwater. The plan shall provide for retrofitting of stormwater outfalls causing the greatest environmental damage to the bay.
(b) The Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with Miami-Dade County, shall develop a program to regulate the use of pumpout facilities in the Biscayne Bay area and along the Miami River.
(c) The Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with Miami-Dade County, shall develop a program to eliminate, to the greatest extent possible, the discharge of oil and other pollutants from ships and to remove derelict vessels from the Miami River and the Biscayne Bay area.
(7) ENFORCEMENT.—The provisions of this section may be enforced in accordance with the provisions of s. 403.412. In addition, the Department of Legal Affairs is authorized to bring an action for civil penalties of $5,000 per day against any person, natural or corporate, who violates the provisions of this section or any rule or regulation issued hereunder. Enforcement of applicable state regulations shall be supplemented by the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management through the creation of a full-time enforcement presence along the Miami River.
(8) SECTIONS 403.501-403.518 APPLICABLE.—The provisions of this section shall be subject to the provisions of ss. 403.501-403.518.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ch. 74-171; s. 2, ch. 76-109; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 78-628; s. 12, ch. 79-65; s. 1, ch. 80-204; s. 59, ch. 86-186; s. 1, ch. 86-295; s. 1, ch. 89-25; s. 47, ch. 90-331; ss. 98, 496, ch. 94-356; s. 78, ch. 99-245; s. 52, ch. 2008-4.