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MARCH 26, 2002


Item 1 Minutes

Submittal of Minutes from the January 29, 2002 Cabinet Meeting.

(See Attachment 1, Pages 1-2)



Item 2 Monty A. Dale Aquaculture Lease

REQUEST: Consideration of authorization to issue a ten-year sovereignty submerged land aquaculture lease of 100 feet by 100 feet (approximately 0.23 acre, more or less), and the overlying water column.

COUNTY: Monroe
Application No. 44-AQ-876

APPLICANT: Monty A. Dale

LOCATION: The requested parcel is located approximately two miles northwest of Content Keys in the Gulf of Mexico, within the local jurisdiction of Monroe County, at the following coordinates: 24o49.510'N / 81o30.390'W (center point in latitude and longitude; decimal minutes).

CONSIDERATION: $41.90 annually, representing (1) an initial lease fee of $31.90, at a rate of $31.90 per acre or fraction thereof, including the water column; and (2) an annual surcharge of $10.00, representing $10.00 per acre or fraction thereof, for deposit in the General Inspection Trust Fund pursuant to section 597.010, F.S. Commencing January 1, 2005, the lease fees shall be adjusted every five years, based upon the five-year average change in the Consumer Price Index.

STAFF REMARKS: The applicant is requesting approval of a commercial aquaculture lease to cultivate and harvest live rock within a parcel of sovereignty submerged lands in the Gulf of Mexico. The requested parcel includes 0.23 acre of state-owned land in 26 to 30 feet of water. The area covers about 100 feet by 100 feet containing coarse sand and shell fragments overlying a lime rock substrate.

The proposed project involves the placement of approximately 15 tons of quarried-limestone per year on the seafloor. The raw material will be obtained from a quarry near No Name Key, Florida. Limestone will act as substrate to attract larval marine organisms to colonize the rock and mimic natural reef communities. Once a desired growth stage has been achieved, the applicant will harvest the rocks with attached marine life and sell them in the tropical marine aquarium trade. The culture of sedentary marine life, referred to as "live rock", has become an integral part of the marine life aquarium trade, since federal and state regulations were enacted to prohibit the harvest of natural live rock communities.

Section 253.68(2)(b), F.S., provides that "it shall be the policy of the state to foster aquaculture development when the aquaculture activity is consistent with state resource management goals, environmental protection, proprietary interests, and the state aquaculture plan." Additionally, section 253.68, F.S., provides that the Board of Trustees may lease submerged lands to which it has title for the conduct of aquaculture activities and grant exclusive use of the bottom and the water column for commercial purposes.

Board of Trustees
Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Agenda - March 26, 2002
Page Two


Item 2, cont.

The application was noticed pursuant to section 253.70, F.S. No objections were filed for the application.

A consideration of the status of any local government comprehensive plan was not made for this item. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has determined that the proposed action is not subject to the local government planning process.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-30)