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).
Collier County (68C-22.023, FAC)
A Notice of Proposed Rule was published in the FAR on January 10, 2017. FWC staff conducted a public hearing in Collier County in January 2017. The FWC commissioners are scheduled to conduct the final public hearing in April 2017. Information on the final public hearing is provided below. The rule notice contains information on how to submit written comments on the proposed rule. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to ManateeRuleComments@MyFWC.com (please reference Collier County in the subject line).
FWC staff began looking at data and information regarding manatee protection in Collier County in 2015. As required by statute, the FWC sent a letter to Collier County in February 2016 requesting the County form a Local Rule Review Committee (LRRC) to consider and provide recommendations on potential changes. A public meeting was held on March 7, 2016, in Naples to gather public input. The County formed a LRRC in March 2016 and the FWC staff transmitted a data review package and preliminary rule proposal document to the LRRC at its first meeting on March 25, 2016. The LRRC met seven times through mid-May2016 and then submitted its report to the FWC. A Rule Development Workshop was held on July 14, 2016, in Naples. FWC staff prepared a written response to the LRRC report in August 2016. At the November 2016 FWC meeting in St. Petersburg, the FWC Commissioners approved staff recommendations and directed staff to move forward with the proposed rule.
Upcoming Public Meetings and Workshops
Commission meetings and agendas
Public Hearing on proposed amendments to the Collier County rule (68C-22.023, FAC)
April 19-20, 2017 (8:30 AM)
Florida Public Safety Institute
85 Academy Drive
Havana, FL 32333
The above hearing is scheduled to be the final public hearing and will be conducted by the FWC commissioners as part of the regular 2-day Commission meeting. If the final hearing does not occur at this meeting, updated information will be posted as soon as it is available. The Commission’s agenda for the meeting will indicate the specific day when the item is scheduled to be addressed.
Issues and Areas Currently Being Considered for Rule Making
See the FWC Manatee Management Plan (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.
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.
Previously Approved Rules (2010 - Present)
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.
Flagler County manatee protection rule (68C-22.028, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners on April 13, 2016, and adopted on May 4, 2016. The revised zone configuration will not go into effect on the water until the rule is formally adopted and revised regulatory markers are posted. Posting is expected to occur in August 2016.
Citrus County manatee protection rule (68C-22.011, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners on February 10, 2016, and adopted on April 4, 2016. Posting of revised regulatory markers was completed in early May 2016.
Pinellas County manatee protection rule (68C-22.016, FAC): Amendments to this rule were approved by the FWC Commissioners on June 24, 2015, with the zone in Indian Rocks Beach revised on November 19, 2015. The final rule was adopted on December 29, 2015. New zones will not go into effect on the water until regulatory markers are posted. Posting is expected to occur in late 2016 or early 2017.
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.