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CAMA - Frequently Asked Questions Highlights

What is CAMA?

CAMA is shorthand for the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas. CAMA manages more than 4.5 million pristine acres of Florida�s coastal and submerged land. These coastal lands and waters are designated Aquatic Preserves, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Marine Sanctuaries, and Coral Reef Conservation areas. CAMA values science-based, adaptive resource management that reflects community priorities. CAMA is committed to excellence and has a passion for protection.

How do I get a permit to. . . ?

Permits are required to construct docks, seawalls and other activities that may result in disturbing submerged lands or shoreline vegetation. CAMA does not issue permits. CAMA occasionally provides technical information to the permitting agencies to assist in their decisions. Normally these permits are processed by the appropriate DEP District Office (Northeast District, Northwest District, Central District, South District, Southeast District, Southwest District).

How do I report a violation?

CAMA does not perform enforcement activities, however, CAMA can relay your information to the appropriate authorities. The best method to report environmental violations is to call the DEP Division of Law Enforcement directly.

Where do I report a tagged animal?

The majority of studies on wildlife were either turned over or have been started by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Their hotline number is 1-800-636-0511.

What is an Aquatic Preserve?

Aquatic Preserves are submerged lands of exceptional beauty which are to be maintained in their natural or existing conditions. To protect these distinctive natural features for the enjoyment of future generations, the Florida Legislature created aquatic preserves. The first aquatic preserve was established in Estero Bay in 1966. By 1975 the Florida Aquatic Preserve Act was passed and the existing preserves were brought under a standard set of management criteria.

What is a State Buffer Preserve?

State Buffer Preserves are coastal uplands formerly managed by CAMA to protect the watershed of an adjacent Aquatic Preserve. They have been transferred over and are now managed by the Division of Recreation and Parks for the same purpose.

What is a National Marine Sanctuary?

A National Marine Sanctuary is a federally designated and protected marine area. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is the only NMS in Florida.

What is a National Estuarine Research Reserve?

A National Estuarine Research Reserve is an area of estuarine waters and adjacent coastal uplands that have been designated by joint action of the state and the federal government.  The federal government provides oversight, coordination and funding. The states provide management and protection of the site, and matching funding. Florida has three NERR sites.

How can I help?

Embrace the concept of environmental stewardship. Contact your local CAMA office or other environmental organizations and volunteer.

How do I contact ...?

Contact information is provided on each Aquatic Preserve page. Alternately, comments can be directed to FloridaCoasts@dep.state.fl.us.

NERR Sites

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Last updated: April 06, 2015

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