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August 19, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XI
COUNTY ORGANIZATION AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
Chapter 161
BEACH AND SHORE PRESERVATION
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F.S. 161.161
1161.161 Procedure for approval of projects.
1(1) The department shall develop and maintain a comprehensive long-term management plan for the restoration and maintenance of the state’s critically eroded beaches fronting the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Straits of Florida. The beach management plan shall:
(a) Address long-term solutions to the problem of critically eroded beaches in this state.
(b) Evaluate each improved, modified, or altered inlet and determine whether the inlet is a significant cause of beach erosion. With respect to each inlet determined to be a significant cause of beach erosion, the plan shall include:
1. The extent to which such inlet causes beach erosion and recommendations to mitigate the erosive impact of the inlet, including, but not limited to, recommendations regarding inlet sediment bypassing; modifications to channel dredging, jetty design, and disposal of spoil material; establishment of feeder beaches; and beach restoration and beach nourishment; and
2. Cost estimates necessary to take inlet corrective measures and recommendations regarding cost sharing among the beneficiaries of such inlet.
(c) Design criteria for beach restoration and beach nourishment projects, including, but not limited to:
1. Dune elevation and width and revegetation and stabilization requirements; and
2. Beach profile.
(d) Evaluate the establishment of feeder beaches as an alternative to direct beach restoration and recommend the location of such feeder beaches and the source of beach-compatible sand.
(e) Identify causes of shoreline erosion and change, calculate erosion rates, and project long-term erosion for all major beach and dune systems by surveys and profiles.
(f) Identify shoreline development and degree of density and assess impacts of development and shoreline protective structures on shoreline change and erosion.
(g) Identify short-term and long-term economic costs and benefits of beaches, including recreational value to user groups, tax base, revenues generated, and beach acquisition and maintenance costs.
(h) Study dune and vegetation conditions.
(i) Identify beach areas used by marine turtles and develop strategies for protection of the turtles and their nests and nesting locations.
(j) Identify alternative management responses to preserve undeveloped beach and dune systems, to restore damaged beach and dune systems, and to prevent inappropriate development and redevelopment on migrating beaches, and consider beach restoration and nourishment, armoring, relocation and abandonment, dune and vegetation restoration, and acquisition.
(k) Establish criteria, including costs and specific implementation actions, for alternative management techniques.
(l) Select and recommend appropriate management measures for all of the state’s sandy beaches in a beach management program.
(m) Establish a list of beach restoration and beach nourishment projects, arranged in order of priority, and the funding levels needed for such projects.

The beach management plan may be prepared at the regional level based upon areas of greatest need and probable federal funding. Such regional plans shall be components of the statewide beach management plan and shall serve as the basis for state funding decisions upon approval in accordance with chapter 86-138, Laws of Florida. In accordance with a schedule established for the submission of regional plans by the department, any completed plan must be submitted to the secretary of the department for approval no later than March 1 of each year. These regional plans shall include, but shall not be limited to, recommendations of appropriate funding mechanisms for implementing projects in the beach management plan, giving consideration to the use of single-county and multicounty taxing districts or other revenue generation measures by state and local governments and the private sector. Prior to presenting the plan to the secretary of the department, the department shall hold a public meeting in the areas for which the plan is prepared. The plan submission schedule shall be submitted to the secretary for approval. Any revisions to such schedule must be approved in like manner.

1(2) Annually, the secretary shall present to the Legislature recommendations for funding beach erosion control projects prioritized according to the criteria established in s. 161.101(14).
(3) Once a project is determined to be undertaken, a survey of all or part of the shoreline within the jurisdiction of the local government in which the beach is located shall be conducted in order to establish the area of beach to be protected by the project and locate an erosion control line. No provision of ss. 161.141-161.211 shall be construed as preventing a local government from participating in the funding of erosion control projects or surveys undertaken in accordance with the provisions of ss. 161.141-161.211. In lieu of conducting a survey, the board of trustees may accept and approve a survey as initiated, conducted, and submitted by the appropriate local government if said survey is made in conformity with the appropriate principles set forth in ss. 161.141-161.211.
(4) Upon completion of the survey depicting the area of the beach erosion control project and the proposed location of the erosion control line, the board of trustees shall give notice of the survey and the date on which the board of trustees will hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving evidence on the merits of the proposed erosion control line and, if approval is granted, of locating and establishing such requested erosion control line. Such notice shall be by publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county or counties in which the proposed beach erosion control project shall be located not less than once a week for 3 consecutive weeks and by mailing copies of such notice by certified or registered mail to each riparian owner of record of upland property lying within 1,000 feet (radial distance) of the shoreline to be extended through construction of the proposed beach erosion control project, as his or her name and address appear upon the latest tax assessment roll, in order that any persons who have an interest in the location of such requested erosion control line can be present at such hearing to submit their views concerning the precise location of the proposed erosion control line. Such notice shall be in addition to any notice requirement in chapter 120.
(5) The board of trustees shall approve or disapprove the erosion control line for a beach restoration project. In locating said line, the board of trustees shall be guided by the existing line of mean high water, bearing in mind the requirements of proper engineering in the beach restoration project, the extent to which erosion or avulsion has occurred, and the need to protect existing ownership of as much upland as is reasonably possible.
(6) In no event shall the department undertake a beach restoration or beach nourishment project where a local share is required without the approval of the local government or governments responsible for that local share.
(7) The department may adopt rules to administer this section.
History.s. 3, ch. 70-276; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 79-233; s. 9, ch. 86-138; s. 20, ch. 87-97; s. 29, ch. 94-356; s. 1440, ch. 95-147; s. 6, ch. 96-321; s. 3, ch. 96-371; s. 4, ch. 98-311; s. 12, ch. 2000-346; s. 40, ch. 2010-102; s. 4, ch. 2019-122.
1Note.Section 4, ch. 2019-122, amended subsection (1) and present subsection (2), renumbered as subsection (3), and added a new subsection (2), effective July 1, 2020, to read:

(1) The department shall develop and maintain a comprehensive long-term beach management plan for the restoration and maintenance of the state’s critically eroded beaches fronting the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Straits of Florida. In developing and maintaining this plan, the department shall:

(a) Address long-term solutions to the problem of critically eroded beaches in this state.

(b) Evaluate each improved, modified, or altered inlet and determine whether the inlet is a significant cause of beach erosion. With respect to each inlet determined to be a significant cause of beach erosion, the plan shall include the extent to which such inlet causes beach erosion and recommendations to mitigate the erosive impact of the inlet, including, but not limited to, inlet sediment bypassing; improvement of infrastructure to facilitate sand bypassing; modifications to channel dredging, jetty design, and disposal of spoil material; establishment of feeder beaches; and beach restoration and beach nourishment.

(c) Evaluate criteria for beach restoration and beach nourishment projects, including, but not limited to, dune elevation and width and revegetation and stabilization requirements and beach profiles.

(d) Consider the establishment of regional sediment management alternatives for one or more individual beach and inlet sand bypassing projects as an alternative to beach restoration when appropriate and cost-effective, and recommend the location of such regional sediment management alternatives and the source of beach-compatible sand.

(e) Identify causes of shoreline erosion and change, determine erosion rates, and maintain an updated list of critically eroded sandy beaches based on data, analyses, and investigations of shoreline conditions.

(f) Assess impacts of development and coastal protection structures on shoreline change and erosion.

(g) Identify short-term and long-term economic costs and benefits of beaches to the state and individual beach communities.

(h) Study dune and vegetation conditions, identify existing beach projects without dune features or with dunes without adequate elevations, and encourage dune restoration and revegetation to be incorporated as part of storm damage recovery projects or future dune maintenance events.

(i) Identify beach areas used by marine turtles and develop strategies for protection of the turtles and their nests and nesting locations.

(j) Identify alternative management responses to preserve undeveloped beach and dune systems and to restore damaged beach and dune systems. In identifying such management responses, the department shall consider, at a minimum, beach restoration and nourishment, armoring, relocation, dune and vegetation restoration, and acquisition.

(k) Document procedures and policies for preparing poststorm damage assessments and corresponding recovery plans, including repair cost estimates.

(l) Identify and assess appropriate management measures for all of the state’s critically eroded sandy beaches.

(2) The comprehensive long-term management plan developed and maintained by the department pursuant to subsection (1) must include, at a minimum, a strategic beach management plan, a critically eroded beaches report, and a statewide long-range budget plan. The long-range budget plan must include a 3-year work plan for beach restoration, beach nourishment, and inlet management projects that lists planned projects for each of the 3 fiscal years addressed in the work plan.

(a) The strategic beach management plan must identify and recommend appropriate measures for all of the state’s critically eroded sandy beaches and may incorporate plans prepared at the regional level, taking into account areas of greatest need and probable federal and local funding. Upon approval in accordance with this section, such regional plans, along with the 3-year work plan identified in subparagraph (c)1., must serve as the basis for state funding decisions. Before finalizing the strategic beach management plan, the department shall hold a public meeting in the region for which the plan is prepared or hold a publicly noticed webinar.

(b) The critically eroded beaches report must be developed and maintained based primarily on the requirements specified in paragraph (1)(e).

(c) The statewide long-range budget plan must include at least 5 years of planned beach restoration, beach nourishment, and inlet management project funding needs as identified, and subsequently refined, by local government sponsors. This plan must consist of two components:

1. A 3-year work plan that identifies beach restoration, beach nourishment, and inlet management projects viable for implementation during the next 3 fiscal years, as determined by available cost-sharing, local sponsor support, regulatory considerations, and the ability of the project to proceed as scheduled. The 3-year work plan must, for each fiscal year, identify proposed projects and their current development status, listing them in priority order based on the applicable criteria established in ss. 161.101(14) and 161.143(2). Specific funding requests and criteria ranking, pursuant to ss. 161.101(14) and 161.143(2), may be modified as warranted in each successive fiscal year, and such modifications must be documented and submitted to the Legislature with each 3-year work plan. Year one projects shall consist of those projects identified for funding consideration in the ensuing fiscal year.

2. A long-range plan that identifies projects for inclusion in the fourth and fifth ensuing fiscal years. These projects may be presented by region and do not need to be presented in priority order; however, the department should identify issues that may prevent successful completion of such projects and recommend solutions that would allow the projects to progress into the 3-year work plan.

(3) The secretary shall present the 3-year work plan to the Legislature annually. The work plan must be accompanied by a 3-year financial forecast for the availability of funding for the projects.