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  • Writer's pictureDes Lewis

SB 32: Mangrove Replanting and Restoration Bill Died in Rules

It’s at least the second year such a bill has not made it past the Florida Legislature’s review.

A bill sponsored by Environment and Natural Resources Senator Illeana Garcia, and Senator Byran Avila, SB 32, was referred to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee where it received 7 YEAS and 0 NAYS on Dec. 6 2023. It was then referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government where the bill received 10 YEAS and 0 NAYS.

 

According to the Florida Senate, the bill's goals were to “require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules for mangrove replanting and restoration.” The bill further outlined its plans to educate the public through government campaigns.

 

SB 32 made it to the Rules but died there on March 8th of this year.

 

Florida’s mangroves are strong and resilient plants that have peppered the state’s coastlines for generations.

 

Mangroves – shrubs and trees that live in coastal spaces where tides rise and fall – are vital parts of the health of Florida’s saltwater ecosystems. Among many of their natural benefits, they act as a filtration system and stand as barriers between Florida’s inlands and storm surges.

 

In areas such as Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, 50-60% of mangrove forests have been scraped away due to human coastal and urban development. Such losses of the plants have moved the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Ileana Garcia, and Senator Bryan Avila to create SB 32: Mangrove Replating and Restoration.

 

This was at least the second year in a row for Sen. Garcia to sponsor a mangrove restoration bill that died during session.

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