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State / Commonwealth / Territory - Marine Managed Areas(MMAs)

F L O R I D A



Highlighted MMAs: Aquatic and Buffer Preserves System
Aquatic Preserves Act (F.S. Chapter 258.35-258.46)

Florida’s first aquatic preserve was designated in Estero Bay in 1966. In 1975, the Florida legislature passed the Aquatic Preserve Act which formally established a Florida Aquatic Preserves Program under the Department of Environmental; Protection. The Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA) is responsible for the living resources within the 41 preserves that currently comprise the system. The Florida Aquatic Preserves Act was instrumental in bringing existing preserves under a set of standard management criteria.

Aquatic preserves are submerged lands defined as holding “exceptional biological, aesthetic, scientific and historic value,” to be maintained in their natural or existing conditions (F.S. Ch. 258.36). One or more of the following principal types characterizes each aquatic preserve: biological, aesthetic and/or scientific. Through education, resource management, scientific research, environmental monitoring, and partnerships, the management mission for the aquatic preserves system is to protect Florida’s coastal resources. In general, the program restricts alternations and developments, as well as future leases or sales of submerged lands, within the aquatic preserves system, unless a proposal is deemed to be clearly in the public interest. The program also manages approximately 130,000 acres of coastal uplands within the state’s three National Estuarine Research Reserves.

Aquatic preserves are submerged lands of exceptional beauty that are to be maintained in their natural or existing conditions. All but four of Florida’s 41 Aquatic Preserves are located on the coast in the shallow waters of estuaries and the continental shelf. The management objectives for the preserves are to maintain and improve existing resources such as seagrasses, mangroves, aquatic plants, birds and fish. Only through careful preservation of these essential resources can the public's continued enjoyment of such activities as boating, swimming and fishing be insured.

Relevant Agencies/Programs:

  Florida Department of Environment Protection
  Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA)

Coastal Management Program
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Division of Historical Resources
  Bureau of Archaeological Research
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserach Reserve

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

 

Marine Managed Area Systems:

Areas for Preservation and Restoration
  Florida Coastal Management Act (F.S. Chapter 380.20; 259.041)
Pollution Recovery Fund (F.S. Chapter 403)
Water Resources Restoration and Preservation Act (F.S. Chapter 403)
Florida Archives and History Act (F.S. Chapter 267)
Beach and Inlet Management Areas
  Beach and Shore Preservation (F.S. Chapter 161)
Manatee Sanctuaries
  FAC Chapter 16N-22
Mangrove Protected Areas
  FAC Chapter 62-321
State Parks and Preserves (#?)
  State Parks and Preserves (F.S. Chapter 258)
Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) water bodies (28)
  Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management Act (F.S. 373.453)


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