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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 403
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
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F.S. 403.9326
403.9326 Exemptions.
(1) The following activities are exempt from the permitting requirements of ss. 403.9321-403.9333 and any other provision of law if no herbicide or other chemical is used to remove mangrove foliage:
(a) Mangrove trimming in riparian mangrove fringe areas that meet the following criteria:
1. The riparian mangrove fringe must be located on lands owned or controlled by the person who will supervise or conduct the trimming activities or on sovereign submerged lands immediately waterward and perpendicular to the lands.
2. The mangroves that are the subject of the trimming activity may not exceed 10 feet in pretrimmed height as measured from the substrate and may not be trimmed so that the overall height of any mangrove is reduced to less than 6 feet as measured from the substrate.

This exemption applies to property with a shoreline of 150 feet or less. Owners of property with a shoreline of more than 150 feet may not trim, under an exemption, more than 65 percent of the mangroves along the shoreline.

(b) Mangrove trimming supervised or conducted exclusively by a professional mangrove trimmer, as defined in s. 403.9325, in riparian mangrove fringe areas that meet the following criteria:
1. The riparian mangrove fringe must be located on lands owned or controlled by the professional mangrove trimmer or by the person contracting with the professional mangrove trimmer to perform the trimming activities, or on sovereign submerged lands immediately waterward and perpendicular to such lands.
2. The mangroves that are the subject of the trimming activity may not exceed 24 feet in pretrimmed height and may not be trimmed so that the overall height of any mangrove is reduced to less than 6 feet as measured from the substrate.
3. The trimming of mangroves that are 16 feet or greater in pretrimmed height must be conducted in stages so that no more than 25 percent of the foliage is removed annually.
4. A professional mangrove trimmer that is trimming red mangroves for the first time under the exemption provided by this paragraph must notify the department or delegated local government in writing at least 10 days before commencing the trimming activities.

This exemption applies to property with a shoreline of 150 feet or less. Owners of property with a shoreline of more than 150 feet may not trim, under an exemption, more than 65 percent of the mangroves along the shoreline.

(c) Mangrove trimming in riparian mangrove fringe areas which is designed to reestablish or maintain a previous mangrove configuration if the mangroves to be trimmed do not exceed 24 feet in pretrimmed height. The reestablishment of a previous mangrove configuration must not result in the destruction, defoliation, or removal of mangroves. Documentation of a previous mangrove configuration may be established by affidavit of a person with personal knowledge of such configuration, through current or past permits from the state or local government, or by photographs of the mangrove configuration. Trimming activities conducted under the exemption provided by this paragraph shall be conducted by a professional mangrove trimmer when the mangroves that are the subject of the trimming activity have a pretrimmed height which exceeds 10 feet as measured from the substrate. A person trimming red mangroves for the first time under the exemption provided by this paragraph must notify the department or delegated local government in writing at least 10 days before commencing the trimming activities.
(d) The maintenance trimming of mangroves that have been previously trimmed in accordance with an exemption or government authorization, including those mangroves that naturally recruited into the area and any mangrove growth that has expanded from the area subsequent to the authorization, if the maintenance trimming does not exceed the height and configuration previously established. Historically established maintenance trimming is grandfathered in all respects, notwithstanding any other provisions of law. Documentation of established mangrove configuration may be verified by affidavit of a person with personal knowledge of the configuration or by photographs of the mangrove configuration.
(e) The trimming of mangrove trees by a state-licensed surveyor in the performance of her or his duties, if the trimming is limited to a swath of 3 feet or less in width.
(f) The trimming of mangrove trees by a duly constituted communications, water, sewerage, electrical, or other utility company, or by a federal, state, county, or municipal agency, or by an engineer or a surveyor and mapper working under a contract with such utility company or agency, when the trimming is done as a governmental function of the agency.
(g) The trimming of mangrove trees by a duly constituted communications, water, sewerage, electrical, or other utility company in or adjacent to a public or private easement or right-of-way, if the trimming is limited to those areas where it is necessary for the maintenance of existing lines or facilities or for the construction of new lines or facilities in furtherance of providing utility service to its customers and if work is conducted so as to avoid any unnecessary trimming of mangrove trees.
(h) The trimming of mangrove trees by a duly constituted communications, water, sewerage, or electrical utility company on the grounds of a water treatment plant, sewerage treatment plant, or electric power plant or substation in furtherance of providing utility service to its customers, if work is conducted so as to avoid any unnecessary trimming of mangrove trees.
(2) Any rule, regulation, or other provision of law must be strictly construed so as not to limit directly or indirectly the exemptions provided by this section for trimming in riparian mangrove fringe areas except as provided in s. 403.9329(7)(b). Any rule or policy of the department, or local government regulation, that directly or indirectly serves as a limitation on the exemptions provided by this section for trimming in riparian mangrove fringe areas is invalid.
(3) The designation of riparian mangrove fringe areas as aquatic preserves or Outstanding Florida Waters shall not affect the use of the exemptions provided by this section.
History.s. 6, ch. 95-299; s. 5, ch. 96-206; s. 1012, ch. 97-103.