Frequently Asked Questions: Florida CMP

Florida CMP Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Florida Coastal Management Program (FCMP)?

The Florida Coastal Management Program (FCMP) is a comprehensive initiative designed to protect and manage Florida's coastal resources while balancing economic development and conservation efforts. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and works in coordination with other state agencies to address issues such as coastal development, beach erosion, water quality, and habitat conservation.

What types of activities and entities are regulated under the FCMP?

The FCMP regulates a wide range of activities and entities that have the potential to impact the state's coastal environment, including:

  • Beachfront and coastal construction
  • Dredging and filling operations
  • Coastal land use changes and development
  • Oil and gas exploration and extraction
  • Wastewater and stormwater discharge
  • Marinas and boat yards

What are the primary legal references for the FCMP?

The primary legal reference for the FCMP is Chapter 380, Part II, Florida Statutes. The program operates within the broader framework of Florida's environmental regulations, which are designed to protect the state's unique and sensitive coastal resources.

What are the main objectives of the FCMP?

The main objectives of the FCMP are to protect coastal resources, manage development in coastal areas, and promote public access to the coast. The program achieves these goals through a combination of regulatory mechanisms, including permitting, land use planning, and interagency coordination.

What specific coastal resources does the FCMP protect?

The FCMP protects a wide range of coastal resources, including beaches, dunes, wetlands, estuaries, and marine habitats. These resources are protected from the adverse impacts of development, pollution, and overuse through various mechanisms, such as the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) permits, wetland protection, water quality protection, and habitat conservation.

What activities are prohibited under the FCMP?

The FCMP prohibits certain activities and substances that pose significant risks to the coastal environment, such as:

  1. The discharge of untreated sewage, industrial waste, or other pollutants into coastal waters
  2. The destruction or alteration of sand dunes, mangroves, and other critical coastal habitats without proper permits
  3. The use of non-native or invasive species in coastal landscaping or restoration projects
  4. The construction of seawalls or other hardened structures in areas with high erosion rates or sensitive habitats

How is the FCMP implemented?

The FCMP is implemented through a combination of state laws, regulations, and policies that are administered by various state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Key provisions include Chapter 380, Part II, Florida Statutes (Coastal Planning and Management), Chapter 62B-33, Florida Administrative Code (Rules and Procedures for Coastal Construction and Excavation), and Chapter 62B-41, Florida Administrative Code (Rules and Procedures for Coastal Zone Management).

What are the regulatory standards and limitations established by the FCMP?

The FCMP establishes various standards and limitations to protect and manage the state's coastal resources. These may include performance standards for development activities (e.g., setback requirements, height limitations, and density restrictions), criteria for the siting and design of structures, and standards for the protection of natural resources (e.g., dunes, wetlands, and wildlife habitats). These standards are implemented through a combination of state and local regulations.

What monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping obligations are associated with the FCMP?

Regulated entities may be subject to various monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements under the FCMP. These obligations ensure compliance with the program's standards and provide information necessary for effective coastal management. Monitoring requirements may include regular site inspections, impact assessments, and tracking of mitigation measures. Reporting obligations may involve submitting periodic reports to relevant agencies, while recordkeeping requirements may necessitate maintaining detailed records of development activities, resource management efforts, and compliance documentation.

What enforcement actions and penalties can be imposed for non-compliance with the FCMP?

The FCMP provides for a range of enforcement actions and penalties in cases of non-compliance, including notices of violation, administrative orders, civil penalties, and, in severe cases, criminal charges. The severity of the enforcement action depends on factors such as the nature and duration of the violation, as well as the regulated entity's history of compliance. To avoid enforcement actions and penalties, developers and consultants should prioritize proactive compliance and early engagement with the relevant agencies.

What are some recent developments in the FCMP?

In 2020, the FDEP updated the FCMP's Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, outlining the program's goals and objectives for the next five years. The plan focuses on enhancing resilience to coastal hazards, improving water quality, and protecting coastal resources. Another notable development was the passage of the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program (FRCP) in 2021, which provides funding and technical assistance to local governments for projects that address the effects of climate change.

What is the current regulatory outlook for the FCMP?

The FCMP is expected to continue prioritizing resilience and adaptation to coastal hazards. In 2022, the FDEP announced plans to update the FCMP's Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) permitting process to better account for sea-level rise projections, which is likely to have significant implications for developers and environmental consultants working on projects in coastal areas.

How can developers stay informed about developments related to the FCMP?

To stay informed about developments related to the FCMP, developers can:

  1. Monitor the FDEP's Coastal Management Program website for updates and announcements
  2. Subscribe to the FDEP's email alerts and newsletters
  3. Attend public meetings and workshops hosted by the FDEP and other relevant agencies
  4. Engage with industry associations, such as the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association, which often provide updates and resources related to coastal management issues

What are some key resources for understanding the FCMP and its requirements?

Some key resources for understanding the FCMP and its requirements include:

What should developers do if they are unsure whether their project is subject to the FCMP?

If developers are unsure whether their project is subject to the FCMP, they should consult with the relevant state and local agencies as early as possible in the planning process. The FDEP and other agencies can provide guidance on the applicability of the FCMP to specific projects and help developers navigate the compliance process.

How can developers ensure compliance with the FCMP throughout the life of their project?

To ensure compliance with the FCMP throughout the life of their project, developers should:

  1. Familiarize themselves with the applicable regulations and standards
  2. Engage with the relevant agencies early and often
  3. Develop and implement a comprehensive compliance strategy
  4. Conduct regular monitoring and reporting as required
  5. Maintain detailed records of compliance efforts
  6. Be proactive in addressing any issues or concerns that arise

By prioritizing compliance and working closely with the relevant agencies, developers can minimize the risk of enforcement actions and contribute to the long-term sustainability of Florida's coastal resources.

Keep up with the latest

A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.