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Beaches, Inlets & Ports Program

The Beaches, Inlets & Ports Program processes Joint Coastal Permit (JCP) applications, but not Coastal Construction Control Line permit applications. This program also processes Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) applications  for navigational dredging of deepwater ports and inlets. The Beaches, Inlets & Ports Program reviews these projects to make sure that any potential adverse impacts have been avoided or minimized and that the projects meet the criteria for issuance that are specified in Statutes and Rules. Once a permit has been issued, the Department monitors the progress of the project to confirm that there have been no unacceptable impacts.     

Joint Coastal Permitting

On October 13, 1995, the Department of Environmental Protection implemented Section 161.055, of the Florida Statutes, initiating concurrent processing of applications for coastal construction permits, environmental resource permits and sovereign submerged lands authorizations. These permits and authorizations, which were previously issued separately, and by different state agencies, have now been consolidated into a "joint coastal permit" or JCP. The consolidation of these reviews and the assignment of responsibility into a single program has eliminated the potential for conflict between permitting agencies and helped ensure that reviews are conducted in a timely manner. A copy of each permit application is forwarded to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for separate processing of the federal dredge and fill permit, if necessary.

A JCP is required for activities that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Located on Florida’s natural sandy beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida or associated inlets;
  • Activities that extend seaward of the mean high water line;
  • Activities that extend into sovereign submerged lands; and
  • Activities that are likely to affect the distribution of sand along the beach.

Activities that require a JCP include beach restoration or nourishment; construction of erosion control structures such as groins and breakwaters; public fishing piers; maintenance of inlets and inlet-related structures; and dredging of navigation channels that include disposal of dredged material onto the beach or in the nearshore area. 

Beach restoration and nourishment have been the main methods of managing beach erosion and maintaining beach habitat. However, the Beaches, Inlets & Ports Program also evaluates innovative technologies that might be more effective, less costly and less likely to cause adverse impacts. Applicants wishing to test a new technology (as an experimental JCP) are encouraged to schedule a pre-application consultation with Program staff to see if similar methods have already been tested, consider adverse impacts and discuss the theoretical potential to solve an erosion problem. Experimental projects require a reliable experimental test plan to determine the success or failure of the technology.

Environmental Resource Permitting 

The Beaches, Inlets & Ports Program also processes ERPs for navigational dredging of deepwater ports. The ERP review ensures that such construction activities do not degrade water quality (such as through the loss of wetlands, improper in-water construction techniques, or discharge of inadequately treated water from dredged material disposal sites), or damage marine resources (including corals, seagrasses, mangroves or habitat for manatees or marine turtles). For more information on how to obtain an ERP, please visit the Environmental Resource Permitting home page.

In addition to the regulatory permits discussed above, permission to use sovereign (state-owned) submerged lands is also addressed in the review process. The application for proprietary authorization (i.e., letter of consent, easement or lease) to use these lands is reviewed and granted (or denied) at the same time the JCP or ERP application is reviewed and issued (or denied).

The processing procedures and criteria for issuance of a JCP, ERP and sovereign submerged lands authorization are found in the following statutes, and the rules adopted there under:  

Florida Statutes (F.S.) Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)

The Environmental Permitting Program regulates in-water beach projects, e.g., nourishment, groins, inlets, etc., through Joint Coastal Permits and port dredging projects through Environmental Resource Permits.

Staff Responsibilities

Name Phone Position Area of Responsibility
Martin Seeling  (850) 245-7593 Program Administrator Administers the statewide regulation of beach nourishment, inlet dredging and port dredging activities
Youzhu Wang (850) 245-7594 Environmental Specialist I Maintains tracking systems, correspondence distribution, maintains permit information on web page and processes de minimis exemptions
Tom Jacobs (850) 245-7558 Environmental Consultant Staff guidance and project review
Vacant - Environmental Specialist III Processes JCP applications
Kristina May (850) 245-7545  Environmental Specialist III Processes JCP and ERP applications for Deepwater Port Dredging and JCP applications for Brevard County
Ivana Kenny (850) 245-7118 Environmental Specialist II Processes JCP applications for Panhandle (Escambia – Wakulla Counties) & Northeast Coast (Nassau - Volusia Counties)
Greg Garis (850) 245-8280 Environmental Specialist III Processes JCP applications for the southeast coast (Indian River – Monroe Counties)
Chiu Cheng (850) 245-7585 Environmental Specialist II Processes JCP applications for Southwest Coast (Pinellas – Collier Counties)

Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP)

Permit Fee Requirements

Staff Contacts

Staff Responsibilities


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Last updated: February 25, 2015

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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