Manatee Rulemaking


Revised 7/27/15

Information is included on this page for proposed rules that are currently open for public comment as well as for issues or areas for which the FWC is actively considering the need to develop a rule. Follow this link for general information on manatee protection rules and how the rules are established.

Proposed Rules Currently Open for Public Comment

Comments on proposed rules must be in writing and should be emailed or mailed to the agency representative whose name and address are listed in the Notice of Proposed Rule. No special form is required; a typed or handwritten letter is sufficient. Comments must be received by the agency within 21 days after the publication of the Notice of Proposed Rule, or on or before the date of the final public hearing, whichever is later. Notices of Proposed Rule can also be viewed online at the Department of State's site for the Florida Administrative Register (FAR).Adobe PDF

No rules are currently open for public comment

Upcoming Public Meetings and Workshops

Commission meetings and agendas


Issues and Areas Currently Being Considered for Rule Making

See the FWC Manatee Management Plan (2MB) Adobe PDF (Chapter 7) for more information on how the FWC chooses and prioritizes issues and areas to be reviewed. There is no formal comment period associated with this stage of rule development.

Collier County (68C-22.023, FAC)

Staff is currently evaluating information to determine whether rule changes may be warranted.

Permits Issued to Commercial Fishers and Professional Fishing Guides (68C-22.003, FAC)

FWC staff began looking at this issue in 2008. Information was provided to stakeholders, county commissions, and current permit holders in September 2009 and FWC staff conducted four public meetings in October. At the December 2009 FWC meeting, the FWC Commissioners accepted staff recommendations to postpone consideration of potential changes until economic conditions improve. Information from the December 2009 meeting is provided below.

Recently Approved Rules

FWC manatee protection zones do not supersede more restrictive zones established for other purposes and/or by other levels of government.  In cases where multiple regulations have been established for the same area, the most restrictive regulation is the one that applies and is posted.


Pinellas County manatee protection rule (68C-22.016, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners, with changes, on June 24, 2015. A Notice of Change was published in the FAR on July 23, 2015. The changes made to the rule were as follows: Two basins in Indian Rocks Beach that were excluded from the proposed seasonal Slow Speed zone were included in the final zone; the southern boundary of the zone near 79th Street South was revised slightly; minor revisions were made to the descriptions of the zones near Johns Pass, Redington Shores, and Long Bayou; and, provisions were added to the rule to allow net-setting permits to be issued to qualifying commercial fishers pursuant to Rule 68C-22.003, FAC. Rule adoption is expected to occur in August but the zones will not go into effect on the water until regulatory markers are posted.


Flagler County manatee protection rule (68C-22.028, FAC): This rule was approved by the FWC Commissioners on May 3, 2012, and adopted on May 24, 2012. This rule action also amended the Volusia County rule (68C-22.012, FAC) to remove the zones in the extreme southern end of Flagler County that had been a part of the rule for Volusia County. Posting of regulatory markers was completed in March 2013.

Broward County manatee protection rule (68C-22.010, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners on September 7, 2011 and adopted on October 25, 2011. Posting of revised regulatory markers was completed in August 2012.

Sarasota County manatee protection rule (68C-22.026, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners on April 28, 2010, and adopted on June 4, 2010.  Posting of revised regulatory markers was completed in July 2011.

FWC Facts:
In Florida, male black bears typically have home ranges of 50 to 120 square miles; female ranges generally are 10 to 25 square miles.

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