(1) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to establish the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program to provide grants to qualified local governmental entities to acquire or develop land for public outdoor recreation purposes. To the extent not needed for debt service on bonds issued pursuant to s. 375.051, each year the department shall develop and plan a program which shall be based upon funding of not less than 5 percent of the money credited to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund pursuant to s. 201.15(2) and (3) in that year. The department shall develop and plan a program which shall be based upon the cumulative total funding provided from this section and from the Florida Forever Trust Fund pursuant to s. 259.105(3)(d).
(2)(a) The department shall adopt, by rule, procedures to govern the program, which shall include, but need not be limited to, a competitive project selection process designed to maximize the outdoor recreation benefit to the public.
(b) Selection criteria shall, at a minimum, rank:
1. The extent to which the project would implement the outdoor recreation goals, objectives, and priorities specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan; and
2. The extent to which the project would provide for priority resource or facility needs in the region as specified in the state comprehensive outdoor recreation plan.
(c) No release of funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, or from the Florida Forever Trust Fund beginning in fiscal year 2001-2002, for this program may be made for these public recreation projects until the projects have been selected through the competitive selection process provided for in this section.
(3) A local government may submit up to two grant applications during each application period announced by the department. However, a local government may not have more than three active projects expending grant funds during any state fiscal year. The maximum project grant for each project application may not exceed $200,000 in state funds.