The Florida Keys Environmental Stewardship Act was passed by the Florida State Legislature and signed into law in 2016. It was passed after only a single session of consideration and is a significant State policy shift towards protecting the Florida Keys nearshore waters and lands that are critical to our delicate ecosystem. It also codifies the State’s recognition of the importance of land acquisition and water quality projects as critical needs.
Secures a recurring set-aside of Florida Forever funding for state land acquisition in the Florida Keys
Supports state appropriations for water quality projects in the Florida Keys
Expands the types of water projects eligible for state funding. Under the Florida Keys Stewardship Act (FKSA), authorized use of funds for Mayfield funding, once limited to wastewater, now includes other critical water quality projects such as stormwater and canal restoration
Expands the use of the local infrastructure surtaxes to include acquiring lands to satisfy takings claims
Expands the powers of the Monroe County Land Authority to include acquiring lands to satisfy takings claims
Clarifies that local infrastructure surtaxes can be used for joint projects with other governmental entities (ie, the County may contribute funds toward a land purchase by the State)
Expands the array of costs that can be paid from the infrastructure surtax associated with land acquisition like attorney fees and other related costs.