Florida oceans and coasts strategic plan to be developed
A half-million dollar state grant will be used to develop a strategic plan for the Sunshine State’s oceans and coasts, the Florida Ocean Alliance announced Wednesday.
The alliance, a nonprofit, nonpartisan partnership of private industry, trade, academic, and environmental organizations, aims to bring awareness to the ocean’s importance to the economy and environment of Florida.
“The project addresses both legislative and public concerns over Florida’s recent water crisis,” Stan Payne, chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance and director of the Seaport and Airport in St. Lucie County, stated in a news release issued by the alliance. “We will offer resilience solutions to these problems as the state strives to cope with these issues.”
The effort originally was outlined in legislation pushed by state Sen. Debbie Mayfield, a Melbourne Republican, and state Rep. Chris Latvala, a Clearwater Republican. Eventually, the key language of their bills was rolled into the state budget bill.
The alliance intends to host public hearings across the state before drafting a strategic plan to address conservation and management of the state’s estuaries, bays and oceans.