FWC approves rule language to create guidelines and criteria for the establishment of Springs Protection Zones
At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rule language to create guidelines and criteria for the establishment of Springs Protection Zones. Staff held public workshops on the proposed rule and solicited online comments from interested stakeholders.
By Florida statute, the Commission has the authority to establish Springs Protection Zones that restrict the speed or operation of vessels, or that prohibit anchoring, mooring, beaching or grounding of vessels to protect or prevent specified harm to first, second and third magnitude springs and spring groups, and their associated spring runs. The rule will create clear guidelines and criteria for the establishment of Springs Protection Zones but does not create zones at this time.
“The approval of this rule will allow staff the ability, through clear guidelines and criteria, to establish spring protection zones that will help prevent harm to Florida’s springs. Protecting our natural resources for generations to come is of the utmost importance,” said Col. Roger Young, director of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement.
The rule language includes:
- Guidelines and criteria that the Commission will use to create Springs Protection Zones.
- Any person may provide evidence to the Commission to determine if a Springs Protection Zone should be established.
- The Commission will consult with the Department of Environmental Protection, the relevant water management district and other entities as appropriate when establishing these zones.
View the Commission meeting agenda and documents at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and the agenda under “Dec. 15-16, 2021.”