Posted by: reefrescue | June 1, 2012

Stiff penalties for careless boaters

Thinking about anchoring on Florida’s coral reefs? – Think twice!

The Florida Coral Reef Protection Act allows for fines starting at $150.00 per square meter of coral damage and escalating up to $250,000 per occurrence.

What is the Coral Reef Protection Act?

The Coral Reef Protection Act is a Florida state law, effective July 1, 2009, created to improve the health of the Florida Reef Tract.

What damages does the Coral Reef Protection Act authorize FDEP to collect from the responsible party?

  •  Cost of damage assessments and activities undertaken by, or at the request of, the resource trustees to minimize or prevent further coral damages, including staff time.
  •  Cost of enforcement actions undertaken by the resource trustees, including court costs, attorney’s fees and expert witness fees.
  • Replacement, restoration or acquisition of the equivalent value of the injured coral reef, including compensation for the value of the lost use and ecological services of the reef, as determined through habitat equivalency analysis.
  • Cost of monitoring the injured, restored or replaced coral reef for at least 10 years if the injury area is greater than 1 square meter.

What civil penalties are prescribed by the Coral Reef Protection Act?

  •  For damage to a coral reef totaling less than or equal to 1 square meter – $150.
  •  For the first offense, a warning letter in lieu of a penalty can be issued.
  • With aggravating circumstances – an additional $150.
  • Within a state park or aquatic preserve – an additional $150.

For damage to coral reefs totaling more than 1 square meter, but less than or equal to 10 square meters – $300 per square meter.

  •  With aggravating circumstances – an additional $300 per square meter.
  • Within a state park or aquatic preserve – an additional $300 per square meter.

For damage to coral reefs greater than 10 square meters – $1,000 per square meter.

  •  With aggravating circumstances – an additional $1,000 per square meter.
  • Within a state park or aquatic preserve – an additional $1,000 per square meter.

For a second violation, the total penalty may be doubled.

For a third violation, the total penalty may be tripled.

For a fourth violation, the penalty may be quadrupled.

 The total of penalties levied may not exceed $250,000 per occurrence.

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Responses

  1. Every person who damages coral reefs do not get caught unfortunately… It is great that there are fines for destroying them though !

  2. […] https://reefrescue.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/stiff-penalties-for-careless-boaters/ […]

  3. Reblogged this on Reef Rescue – Coral Reef Blog.

  4. […] Anchoring on Florida’s coral reefs? – Think twice! […]

  5. […] Anchoring on Florida’s coral reefs? – Think twice! […]

  6. […] Anchoring on Florida’s coral reefs? – Think twice! […]


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