374.976 Authority to address impacts of waterway development projects.—
(1) Each inland navigation district is empowered and authorized to undertake programs intended to alleviate the problems associated with its waterway or waterways, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The district may act as a local interest sponsor for any project designated as a “Section 107, River and Harbor Act of 1960” project authorized and undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and, in this regard, may comply with any or all conditions imposed on local interests as part of such project.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the district may sponsor or furnish assistance and support to member counties and local governments within the district in planning and carrying out beach renourishment and inlet management projects. Such assistance and support, if financial in nature, shall be contributed only after a finding by the board that inlet management projects are a benefit to public navigation in the district and that the beaches to be nourished have been adversely impacted by navigation inlets, navigation structures, navigation dredging, or a navigation project. Such projects will be consistent with Department of Environmental Protection approved inlet management plans and the statewide beach management plan pursuant to s. 161.161. Inlet management projects that are determined to be consistent with Department of Environmental Protection approved inlet management plans are declared to be a benefit to public navigation.
(c) The district is authorized to aid and cooperate with the Federal Government; state; member counties; nonmember counties that contain any part of the intracoastal waterway within their boundaries; navigation districts; the seaports of Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Palm Beach, Port Everglades, Miami, Port Manatee, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Port St. Joe, Panama City, Pensacola, Key West, and Fernandina; and local governments within the district in planning and carrying out public navigation, local and regional anchorage management, beach renourishment, public recreation, inlet management, environmental education, and boating safety projects, directly related to the waterways. The district is also authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, state, and member counties, and to covenant in any such cooperative agreement to pay part of the costs of acquisition, planning, development, construction, reconstruction, extension, improvement, operation, and maintenance of such projects.
(d) The district is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with navigation-related districts to pay part of the costs of acquisition of spoil disposal sites.
(e) The district is authorized to enter into ecosystem management agreements with the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to s. 403.075.
(2) A district that sponsors a program pursuant to this section shall adopt rules to govern the program, pursuant to chapter 120. At a minimum, such rules shall prohibit the encumbrance of funds for a project beyond 3 years following approval of the project and, except for funds provided to enhance public navigation, law enforcement on the waterways, or environmental education projects within its district, shall prohibit financial support unless matching funds are provided by the recipient of such financial support. The district may waive such rules for a project approved in a county that is recovering from a state of emergency declared under chapter 252.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (2), all financial assistance and support furnished by the Florida Inland Navigation District and the West Coast Inland Navigation District to member counties and local governments within the districts shall require matching funds. Such matching funds shall be clearly identified and enumerated as to amount and source. Such financial assistance and support, except as provided pursuant to paragraph (1)(a) and except for a project approved in a county that is recovering from a state of emergency declared under chapter 252, shall not exceed the proportional share of ad valorem tax collections from each county.
(4) The Florida Inland Navigation District may furnish assistance and support to seaports for the purpose of planning and carrying out dredge material management projects, other environmental mitigation projects, and other projects concerning waterway-related access. Port projects shall benefit publicly maintained channels and harbors. Any port eligible for funding shall be located in a member county of the district, and each port shall contribute matching funds for funded projects. Financial assistance for such port projects shall not be included in calculating the proportional share of ad valorem tax collections of the county in which the port is located, provided the port seeking assistance demonstrates a regional benefit realized from the port’s activities. However, the cost of a port project funded under this section may not exceed the proportional share of ad valorem taxation of the counties in the district which are benefited by the project.
History.—s. 2, ch. 85-200; s. 2, ch. 90-264; s. 80, ch. 93-120; s. 31, ch. 93-211; s. 141, ch. 96-320; s. 1, ch. 96-425; ss. 1, 2, ch. 98-326; s. 24, ch. 99-5; s. 174, ch. 99-13; s. 2, ch. 2008-40.