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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 267
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F.S. 267.21
267.21 Historic Cemeteries Program.
(1) The Historic Cemeteries Program is created within the division. The State Historic Preservation Officer shall serve as the director of the program and shall, subject to legislative appropriation, employ three full-time employees to operate the program. The program shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) Serve as the organizational center for recording and updating in the Florida Master Site File records of cemeteries in this state established at least 50 years ago.
(b) Develop guidelines for use by state agencies, local governments, and developers in the identification, location, and maintenance of abandoned and historic cemeteries.
(c) Serve as an interagency governmental liaison to municipalities, planning departments, colleges and universities, and community organizations to facilitate collaboration and the sharing of information relating to abandoned and historic cemeteries.
(d) Coordinate with the University of South Florida’s Black Cemetery Network to facilitate the inclusion of abandoned African-American cemeteries in the Black Cemetery Network.
(e) Research, identify, and record abandoned cemeteries, with an emphasis on abandoned African-American cemeteries.
(f) When abandoned cemeteries are located, provide notification and guidance to relevant persons and assist with efforts to identify relatives and descendants, funeral directors, religious organizations, qualified nonprofit organizations, and property owners.
(g) Assist constituents, descendant communities, state and federal agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders with inquiries relating to abandoned cemeteries.
(h) In coordination with the Department of Education, develop a curriculum relating to abandoned and historic cemeteries, with a focus on citizenship, social responsibility, and history.
(i) Establish a priority for the placement of historical markers for erased, forgotten, lost, or abandoned African-American cemeteries.
(2) The Historic Cemeteries Program shall, subject to legislative appropriation, provide grants to the following entities:
(a) Research institutions, colleges and universities, and qualified nonprofit organizations, for the purpose of conducting genealogical and historical research necessary to identify and contact the relatives and descendants of persons buried in abandoned African-American cemeteries.
(b) Local governments and qualified nonprofit organizations, for the purposes of repairing, restoring, and maintaining abandoned African-American cemeteries.
(3) The division may adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2023-142.