(1) The Legislature finds that there are over 555,000 acres of mangroves now existing in Florida. Of this total, over 80 percent are under some form of government or private ownership or control and are expressly set aside for preservation or conservation purposes.
(2) The Legislature finds that mangroves play an important ecological role as habitat for various species of marine and estuarine vertebrates, invertebrates, and other wildlife, including mammals, birds, and reptiles; as shoreline stabilization and storm protection; and for water quality protection and maintenance and as food-web support. The mangrove forest is a tropical ecosystem that provides nursery support to the sports and commercial fisheries. Through a combination of functions, mangroves contribute to the economies of many coastal counties in the state.
(3) The Legislature finds that many areas of mangroves occur as narrow riparian mangrove fringes that do not provide all the functions of mangrove forests or provide such functions to a lesser degree.
(4) The Legislature finds that scientific studies have shown that mangroves are amenable to standard horticultural treatments and that waterfront property owners can live in harmony with mangroves by incorporating such treatments into their landscaping systems.
(5) The Legislature finds that the trimming of mangroves by professional mangrove trimmers has a significant potential to maintain the beneficial attributes of mangrove resources and that professional mangrove trimmers should be authorized to conduct mangrove trimming, under certain circumstances, without prior government authorization.