Coastal Management Bill:
Earlier this year, I filed HB 325: Coastal Management. This legislation would modernize and refine the criteria for ranking beach and inlet sand management projects to better capture the economic importance of healthy beaches to tourism, storm damage reduction, and resource protection. It revises the criteria that the Department of Environmental Protection should consider when determining and assigning funding for beach management and erosion control projects.
This bill aims to give Legislators the confidence and level of accountability and transparency that projects receiving annual appropriation funding represent the best investment of state dollars and fund projects of the greatest need. The bill also enhances inlet funding and creates a 3-year work plan so that Florida can maximize federal dollars.
Water quality and environmental issues are critical to sustaining Florida’s great way of life. The Florida House is committed to addressing water quality issues and we will work hard to ensure the citizens of this state have pristine water systems for generations to come.
Shark Fins and Ray Parts:
I also co-sponsored HB99: Shark Fins and Ray Parts in the Florida House. This legislation will prohibit certain possessions of shark fins and ray parts to be purchased or distributed in Florida. The biggest threat to the sharks and rays is the overfishing that has gone on for generations. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed globally each year, and one of the major incentives for this is the shark fin trade. Sharks are highly susceptible to extinction, because of their slow growth and reproductive rates, which makes it difficult for many sharks to replenish their populations. Today 60-70% of shark populations have diminished due to shark finning. HB99: Shark Fins and Ray Parts is asking for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to adopt these revisions in order to protect our ecosystem.
Energy & Utility Subcommittee Discussed Utility Restoration in the Aftermath of Hurricanes:
Recently, the subcommittee heard from the Florida Public Service Commission and representatives of the electric utility industry to discuss preparations made in advance of hurricanes and tropical storms and service restoration following those storms.
The Commission presented its 2018 Review of Florida’s Electric Utility Hurricane Preparedness and Restoration Activities, which evaluated data from the 2016-2017 hurricane seasons. In its review, the Commission found that Florida’s aggressive storm hardening, vegetation management, and pole inspection programs are working, as the length and scope of outages were reduced markedly from the catastrophic 2004-2005 storm seasons.
Having power can be the difference between life and death for our citizens, and I believe effectively responding to disasters such as a hurricane is of paramount importance. In my view, this meeting showed that our hurricane preparedness and response is improving and we must continue to build on our success.
It is a tremendous honor to serve you as your State Representative in Tallahassee. By working together with our community, we will continue to share in many successes to enhance the quality of life of the people and businesses in South Florida.