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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XI
Chapter 161
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F.S. 161.143
161.143 Inlet management; planning, prioritizing, funding, approving, and implementing projects.
(1) Studies, projects, and activities for the purpose of mitigating the erosive effects of inlets and balancing the sediment budget of the inlet and adjacent beaches must be supported by separately approved inlet management plans or inlet components of the statewide comprehensive beach management plan. Such plans in support of individual inlet projects or activities must, pursuant to s. 161.161(1)(b), evaluate each inlet to determine the extent of the inlet’s erosive effect on adjacent beaches and, if significant, make recommendations to mitigate such ongoing erosive effects and provide estimated costs for such mitigation.
(2) The department shall establish annual funding priorities for studies, activities, or other projects concerning inlet management. Such inlet management projects constitute the intended scope of this section and s. 161.142 and consist of inlet sand bypassing, improvement of infrastructure to facilitate sand bypassing, modifications to channel dredging, jetty redesign, jetty repair, disposal of spoil material, and the development, revision, adoption, or implementation of an inlet management plan. Projects considered for funding pursuant to this section must be considered separate and apart from projects reviewed and prioritized in s. 161.101(14). The funding priorities established by the department under this section must be consistent with the requirements and legislative declaration in ss. 161.101(14), 161.142, and 161.161(1)(b). In establishing funding priorities under this subsection and before transmitting the annual inlet project list to the Legislature under subsection (4), the department shall seek formal input from local coastal governments, beach and general government associations and other coastal interest groups, and university experts concerning annual funding priorities for inlet management projects. In order to maximize the benefits of efforts to address the inlet-caused beach erosion problems of this state, the ranking criteria used by the department to establish funding priorities for studies, activities, or other projects concerning inlet management must include equal consideration of:
(a) An estimate of the annual quantity of beach-quality sand reaching the updrift boundary of the improved jetty or inlet channel.
(b) The severity of the erosion to the adjacent beaches caused by the inlet.
(c) The overall significance and anticipated success of the proposed project in mitigating the erosive effects of the inlet, balancing the sediment budget of the inlet and adjacent beaches, and addressing the sand deficit along the inlet-affected shorelines.
(d) The extent to which bypassing activities at an inlet would benefit from modest, cost-effective improvements when considering the volumetric increases from the proposed project, the availability of beach-quality sand currently not being bypassed to adjacent eroding beaches, and the ease with which such beach-quality sand may be obtained.
(e) The cost-effectiveness of sand made available by a proposed inlet management project or activity relative to other sand source opportunities that would be used to address inlet-caused beach erosion.
(f) The existence of a proposed or recently updated inlet management plan or a local-government-sponsored inlet study addressing the mitigation of an inlet’s erosive effects on adjacent beaches.
(g) The degree to which the proposed project will enhance the performance and longevity of proximate beach nourishment projects, thereby reducing the frequency of such periodic nourishment projects.
(h) The project-ranking criteria in s. 161.101(14) to the extent such criteria are applicable to inlet management studies, projects, and activities and are distinct from, and not duplicative of, the criteria listed in paragraphs (a)-(g).
(3) The department may pay from legislative appropriations up to 75 percent of the construction costs of an initial major inlet management project component for the purpose of mitigating the erosive effects of the inlet to the shoreline and balancing the sediment budget. The remaining balance of such construction costs must be paid from other funding sources, such as local sponsors. All project costs not associated with an initial major inlet management project component must be shared equally by state and local sponsors in accordance with s. 161.101(15).
(4) The department shall annually provide an inlet management project list, in priority order, to the Legislature as part of the department’s budget request.
(a) The department shall designate for projects on the current year’s inlet management project list, in priority order, an amount that is at least equal to the greater of:
1. Ten percent of the total amount that the Legislature appropriates in the fiscal year for statewide beach management; or
2. The percentage of inlet management funding requests from local sponsors as a proportion of the total amount of statewide beach management dollars requested in a given year.
(b) The department shall include inlet monitoring activities ranked on the inlet management project list as one aggregated subcategory on the overall inlet management project list.
(5) The department shall update and maintain an annual report on its website concerning the extent to which each inlet project has succeeded in balancing the sediment budget of the inlet and adjacent beaches and in mitigating the inlet’s erosive effects on adjacent beaches. The report must estimate the quantity of sediment bypassed, transferred, or otherwise placed on adjacent eroding beaches, or in such beaches’ nearshore area, for the purpose of offsetting the erosive effects of inlets on the beaches of this state.
(6) The department shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2008-242; s. 19, ch. 2013-41; s. 31, ch. 2014-53; s. 46, ch. 2015-222; s. 81, ch. 2016-62; s. 2, ch. 2018-111; s. 3, ch. 2019-122.