The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council is created within the Department of Environmental Protection and shall consist of 18 members. The secretary, the executive director, and the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or their designees, shall serve as ex officio members of the council. The council shall be jointly chaired by the secretary and the executive director. The 15 voting members of the council shall be appointed, within 60 days after this act becomes law, in the following manner:
(1) Five members shall be appointed by the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection which will be comprised of one scientist specializing in each of the following fields: wetlands and watersheds; nearshore waters or estuaries; offshore waters or open oceans; hydrology and aquatic systems; and coastal geology or coastal erosion and shorelines.
(2) Five members shall be appointed by the executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which will be comprised of one scientist specializing in each of the following fields: resource management; wildlife habitat management; fishery habitat management; coastal and pelagic birdlife; and marine biotechnology.
(3) Five members shall be appointed by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These appointments shall be selected from a list of at least eight individuals submitted to the commissioner by the Florida Ocean Alliance. The individuals selected by the Florida Ocean Alliance shall be chosen from the following disciplines or groups: sportfishing; ports; cruise industry; energy industry; ecotourism; private marine research institutes; universities; aquaculture; maritime law; commercial fisheries; socioeconomics; marine science education; and environmental groups.
(4) Appointments made by the secretary and executive director shall be to terms of 4 years each. Appointments made by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall be to terms of 2 years. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the remainder of the term that is vacated.
(5) Members shall serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement of travel and per diem expenses pursuant to s. 112.061, relating to completing their duties and responsibilities.