The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Florida Coastal Office (FCO)
oversees the management of Florida's 41
Aquatic Preserves, three National Estuarine Research Reserves (Reserves), one National
Marine Sanctuary, the Florida Coastal Management
Program, the Deepwater Horizon Response and Restoration
Team and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. These protected areas
comprise more than 4 million acres of the most valuable submerged lands and select
coastal uplands in Florida. With public input, FCO developed a
(pdf - 4.29 MB) that provides the statewide perspective
to our Aquatic Preserve Program.
FCO is now updating
site specific management plans for its Aquatic Preserves
and National Estuarine Research Reserves.
Sites will be holding public meetings to receive input on the draft plans. The objectives of the
meetings are to:
Inform the public about the history, purpose and scope of management plan
Present the draft management plan.
Solicit public input regarding issues and opportunities that are being or should be
addressed in the management plan.
The management plan and the public comments are subsequently reviewed by an advisory committee.
With this input, the plan is further amended and
finalized to be sent to the Acquisition and Restoration
Council (ARC). After approval from ARC and all necessary
changes are made, the plan is presented to the Governor and Cabinet for
If you are interested in receiving notices for public
meetings or for other updates on management plan
development, please subscribe through our