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Aquatic Plants Licenses & Permits

What is an Aquatic Plant Management Permit?

It is an authorization from the State of Florida for a waterfront property owner to manage aquatic plants along the shoreline adjacent to their property.  These permits are issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Invasive Plant Management Section according to Rule 68F-20 of the Florida Administrative Code.

Why do I need an Aquatic Plant Management Permit?

Florida law requires all persons to obtain a permit from FWC prior to controlling, removing or altering aquatic plants in waters of the state unless the waters or activities are expressly exempt from the permitting requirements.

What are the exemptions?

Permits are not required for waterfront owners seeking to remove non-woody vegetation and shrub species from fresh waterbodies by mechanical means along 50 feet or 50% of the shoreline (whichever is less) in order to allow open water access for boats or swimmers (Florida Statue 369.20 (8)).  This exemption does not apply in waterbodies that are classified as Aquatic Preserves or Outstanding Florida Waters.

Additional exemptions are located in Rule 68F-20 F.A.C.

What are the benefits to having an Aquatic Plant Management Permit?

With a permit you can remove exotics which will allow room for native plants to grow and expand and ensure that you have a plan for managing your waterfront that will not harm the waterbody and help protect the investment you have made in it.

Proper management of the shoreline will also:

  • Enhance aesthetics;
  • Improve food and habitat for fish and wildlife;
  • Provide erosion control and soil stabilization;
  • Ensure plants are present for nutrient uptake which will result in cleaner water.

How much does an Aquatic Plant Management Permit cost?

Absolutely Free of Charge!

How do I obtain an Aquatic Plant Management Permit?

Apply Online (Directions for the online application process) or Contact Sharon Stinson at Sharon.Stinson@myfwc.com or call 863-534-7074 for help with the online application process