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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 560
       By Senator Constantine
       22-00318-10                                            2010560__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the restoration of Lake Jesup;
    3         requiring the Department of Environmental Protection,
    4         the St. Johns River Water Management District, the
    5         Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the
    6         City of Sanford to develop a plan concerning the
    7         progress of the commission’s project to restore
    8         aquatic habitats in Lake Jesup; requiring the
    9         commission to report to the Legislature concerning the
   10         development of the plan; providing that the
   11         acquisition of a site to dispose of muck from the
   12         project is a conservation and restoration acquisition
   13         under the Florida Forever program; encouraging state
   14         agencies to help fund the removal of muck from Lake
   15         Jesup; providing an effective date.
   17         WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes the importance of
   18  improving water quality in surface waters having regional or
   19  statewide significance, and
   20         WHEREAS, Lake Jesup, a lake that fluctuates with the St.
   21  Johns River system and encompasses between 9,150 acres at low
   22  water and 13,034 acres at high water, is an important natural
   23  resource of regional and statewide significance, an important
   24  economic resource, and a habitat for resident and migratory fish
   25  and waterfowl, and
   26         WHEREAS, historically, Lake Jesup has been a primary
   27  destination of sport fishers, a navigable waterway, and a
   28  waterway capable of supporting commerce, travel, and recreation,
   29  and
   30         WHEREAS, endangered species, such as the manatee and bald
   31  eagle, and species of special concern, such as the ibis, wood
   32  stork, and sandhill crane, use this lake and basin as habitat,
   33  and
   34         WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn to the
   35  area around Lake Jesup each year, and
   36         WHEREAS, the water quality, fisheries, and other biological
   37  communities of Lake Jesup have deteriorated, and
   38         WHEREAS, various state, federal, and local governmental
   39  agencies have been engaged in a coordinated and scientific
   40  approach to the restoration of Lake Jesup for some years, and
   41         WHEREAS, governmental agencies have purchased more than
   42  8,500 acres around the lake for purposes that include
   43  conservation and recreation as well as restoration of Lake
   44  Jesup, and
   45         WHEREAS, a mitigation project of the Department of
   46  Transportation removed a 2-mile berm from Lake Jesup which
   47  returned a substantial amount of navigability to the lake and
   48  allowed an additional 300 acres of the lake’s floodplain to
   49  again help filter particulates from the lake and absorb the
   50  lake’s nutrient pollution while increasing the lake’s ability to
   51  store floodwater and provide valuable habitat for plants and
   52  animals, and
   53         WHEREAS, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has
   54  embarked on a plan to restore aquatic habitat in the lake in
   55  order to rehabilitate the lake’s fishery resources, and a
   56  significant component of that plan requires removal of the large
   57  amount of muck that is now lying on the bottom of the lake and
   58  that is more than 9 1/2 feet thick in some areas, and
   59         WHEREAS, while significant progress has been made toward
   60  restoring Lake Jesup by the governmental agencies involved in
   61  this restoration project, the progress of the project is stymied
   62  by challenges associated with obtaining necessary permits for
   63  the muck-removal phase of the restoration, and
   64         WHEREAS, a parcel of land that the City of Sanford has used
   65  as a sprayfield for effluent from its wastewater treatment plant
   66  may be highly suitable as a muck-disposal site, NOW, THEREFORE,
   68  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   70         Section 1. The Department of Environmental Protection, the
   71  St. Johns River Water Management District, the Fish and Wildlife
   72  Conservation Commission, and the City of Sanford shall
   73  diligently work to develop a plan to allow the removal of muck
   74  from Lake Jesup in Seminole County to proceed, which is
   75  contemplated by a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
   76  project to help restore the aquatic habitat in the lake. The
   77  commission shall report to the Legislature concerning the
   78  group’s progress toward this goal on October 1, 2010, and on the
   79  first day of each third month thereafter until any site needed
   80  for the disposal of muck has received all necessary state
   81  permits or it is determined that muck removal can proceed
   82  without a site for the disposal of the muck. The acquisition of
   83  a muck-disposal site is a conservation and restoration
   84  acquisition under the Florida Forever program created in s.
   85  259.105, Florida Statutes, the goal of which is to improve and
   86  sustain the ecological integrity of Lake Jesup. Each state
   87  agency is encouraged to expend funds to assist in the removal of
   88  muck from the bottom of Lake Jesup.
   89         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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