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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIX
Chapter 403
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F.S. 403.9328
403.9328 Alteration and trimming of mangroves; permit requirement.
(1) A person may not alter or trim, or cause to be altered or trimmed, any mangrove within the landward extent of wetlands and other surface waters, as defined in chapter 62-340.200(19), Florida Administrative Code, using the methodology in s. 373.4211 and chapter 62-340, Florida Administrative Code, when the trimming does not meet the criteria in s. 403.9326 or s. 403.9327 except under a permit issued under this section by the department or a delegated local government or as otherwise provided by ss. 403.9321-403.9333. Any violation of ss. 403.9321-403.9333 is presumed to have occurred with the knowledge and consent of any owner, trustee, or other person who directly or indirectly has charge, control, or management, either exclusively or with others, of the property upon which the violation occurs. However, this presumption may be rebutted by competent, substantial evidence that the violation was not authorized by the owner, trustee, or other person.
(2)(a) The department, when deciding to issue or deny a permit for mangrove alteration or trimming under this section, shall use the criteria in s. 373.414(1) and (8). If the applicant is unable to meet these criteria, the department and the applicant shall first consider measures to reduce or eliminate the unpermittable impacts. If unpermittable impacts still remain, the applicant may propose, and the department shall consider, measures to mitigate the otherwise unpermittable impacts. A request for a permit to alter mangroves must be submitted in writing with sufficient specificity to enable the department to determine the scope and impacts of the proposed alteration activities.
(b) The department shall issue or deny a permit for mangrove alteration in accordance with chapter 120 and s. 403.0876.
(3) The use of herbicides or other chemicals for the purposes of removing leaves from a mangrove is strictly prohibited.
(4) If a local government receives delegation of the department’s authority to regulate mangroves, the delegated local government shall issue permits for mangrove trimming when the trimming does not meet the criteria in s. 403.9326 or for mangrove alteration in lieu of a departmental permit. A delegated local government may impose stricter substantive standards than those of the department for the issuance of a permit authorized by this section but may not prohibit all mangrove trimming.
(5) A permit is not required under ss. 403.9321-403.9333 to trim or alter mangroves if the trimming or alteration is part of an activity that is exempt under s. 403.813 or is permitted under part IV of chapter 373. The procedures for permitting under part IV of chapter 373 will control in those instances.
History.s. 8, ch. 95-299; s. 8, ch. 96-206; s. 38, ch. 97-98.