Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Grant Program
The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever grant Program was created by the 2008 Florida Legislature and is administered by Florida Communities Trust within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Grant funds are used to acquire working waterfront lands in fee simple or less-than-fee simple interest. Working waterfronts are defined as parcels of land directly used for the commercial harvest of saltwater products and the marketing of seafood and aquaculture. Land used for recreational waterfront activities is not eligible.
Working waterfront acquisitions are evaluated, scored, and ranked based on weighted criteria that give increased priority to (a) lands within, for example, smaller communities or ones that are under intense growth and development pressures, as evidenced by a number of factors; projects that (b) advance local and state planning goals and; (c) provide a demonstrable benefit to the local economy. Projects that educate the public about the economic, cultural, or historic heritage of Florida’s traditional working waterfronts receive additional points.
The grant program was created by the Florida Legislature, thus limiting its direct transferability to other states unless their legislatures adopted a similar approach. That said, the program was created as a subset of an existing state land acquisition program, similar to those found in other states.
- Creation of the working waterfronts land acquisition program within the context of an existing and broader land acquisition program.
- Requiring that applicants provide a management plan to assure that they have the financial resources, background, qualifications, and competence to manage their proposed project site in perpetuity.
- Requiring a transmittal letter that binds the applicant to fulfill commitments made in their application.
- Acquisition of working waterfront land in fee simple or less-than-fee simple interest.
Full Case Study Description
The potential development of Florida’s remaining working waterfronts and escalation of land values led to efforts to restore, bring under public protection, or acquire working waterfront lands to preserve their essential functions and invaluable contributions to quality of life. Land acquisition programs can provide tremendous financial resources for purchasing significant lands to protect them from imminent development or alteration, thereby ensuring their availability to present and future generations. The Florida Legislature, recognizing a need, created the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Grant Program to acquire lands in fee simple or less-than-fee simple interest.
The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Grant Program was created in 2008 by the Florida Legislature and it is administered by Florida Communities Trust. To fund the Program, the Legislature allocated 2.5 percent of the total appropriation of the existing Florida Forever Program, which was created in 2001. Florida Forever is Florida’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program to conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage. Since its inception up to the present, the Florida Forever Program has expended $2.85 billion to acquire land.
Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts grant funds can be used to acquire a parcel(s) of land directly used for the purposes of the commercial harvest of marine organisms or saltwater products by state-licensed commercial fishermen, aquaculturists or business entities, including piers, wharves, docks, or other facilities operated to provide waterfront access to licensed commercial fishermen, aquaculturists, or business entities.
The funds may also be used for the acquisition of a parcel(s) of land used for exhibitions, demonstrations, educational venues, civic events, and other purposes that promote and educate the public about the economic, cultural, and historic heritage of Florida’s traditional working waterfronts, including the marketing of the seafood and aquaculture industries. The acquisition of land used for recreational waterfront activities would not be considered within the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Grant Program.
Actions and Approaches
Rule 62-820 of the Florida Administrative Code stipulates the procedures that must be followed for Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts grant applications to the Florida Communities Trust. The rule details general requirements and eligibility standards, the steps for submitting an application, the specific application materials required, the application review process, the evaluation criteria used, how applications are ranked, and how award recipients are selected.Eligible grant applicants are local governments of the State of Florida, nonprofit working waterfronts organizations, or a partnership between a local government and a nonprofit working waterfronts organization. The total amount awarded for any one project (application) cannot exceed five million dollars but, ultimately, the amount depends on how much is appropriated by the Legislature. Though grant applicants are not required to provide match funds, they will be awarded evaluation points if they do so.The criteria used to evaluate a project (application) and award points include consideration of the project’s location, the economic benefit it provides to the local community, the suitability of the project and readiness of the site (existing infrastructure) to meet grant program objectives, the applicants’ level of financial commitment to the project as evidenced by matching funds, the degree to which the project meets the local community’s planning objectives, and whether or not the project includes elements that will help to educate the public about the economic, cultural, and/or historic heritage of Florida’s traditional working waterfronts.Suitable projects are those that provide (a) a docking facility for commercial fishing vessels; (b) a Seafood House or other building to be used for working waterfront business; (c) a structure for launching commercial fishing vessels; and (d) an open area (of at least ¼ acre) for the storage of traps, nets, and other gear. Extra “readiness” points will be awarded if project-related infrastructure already exists, as opposed to building all components from scratch.Florida Communities Trust staff prepares preliminary ranking and evaluation reports for all grant applications and provides them to the Governing Board, which is composed of the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (chair) and four public members appointed by the Governor. The Board convenes in a publicly noticed meeting to approve staff recommendations or, if applicant objections are raised, to hear evidence and consider potential modifications to those recommendations. The Governing Board then develops a list of projects in rank order for consideration and approval by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (Governor and Cabinet) at a publicly noticed meeting. Following approval by the Board of Trustees of the projects to be funded, the Trust enters into a Grant Contract with the award recipients.
Blue Crab Cove – An Example of Grant Fund Use
In 2010, Brevard County, Florida, purchased Blue Crab Cove (formerly Griffis Landing) for $2.825 million dollars. The landing was purchased to serve the local crabbing and fishing industry, provide public access to Brevard’s waterfront heritage, and to preclude the construction of an 11-story condominium. The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront Grant Program provided $1.84 million towards the purchase; the Florida Inland Navigation District, Waterway Assistance Program provided $600,000; and the remaining $385,000 came from Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency Tax Increment Financing funds.
Florida Inland Navigation District, Waterways Assistance Program
Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency
Land and Recreation Grants Section/Florida Communities Trust
Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 103
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Florida Communities Trust
Chapter 62-820, Florida Administrative Code, Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Application Procedures
Last updated 10-May-17