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Coastal Commissioners Head to Tallahassee to Push for Designated Beach Funding
DATE: January 20, 2016
Kimberly Maroe 
Public Information Manager, Broward County Commission 

PHONE: (954) 357-8053

BROWARD COUNTY, FL - County Commissioners from the panhandle to South Florida are joining forces in Tallahassee this week to drive home the significant role that beaches play in our state's economy.

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca and coastal commissioners from throughout Florida will join the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association for meetings with state lawmakers to encourage designated funding for beaches using money earmarked for the environment with the passage of Amendment 1.

"Our beautiful beaches are our Florida brand and keeping them healthy drives Florida's economy. Beaches bring tourists who spend billions of dollars in our state every year.  We are asking that $50 million be placed into a beach fund annually to be used to maintain beaches throughout Florida. That is but a small portion of the $648-million available in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund approved by voters. The office of Economic and Demographic Research reports confirm that the statewide beach management program generates a positive return on investment (ROI) of 5.4 for each dollar invested in our beaches. Beach renourishment and shore protection is an ongoing process and there must to be money available to keep our coastal areas in pristine condition," said Commissioner LaMarca.

The group is also asking that economic impact be among the list of parameters used to determine which beaches receive priority funding.

Meetings are planned with Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli, Senators Alan Hays, Tom Lee, and Jack Latvala and State Representative Ben Albritton. 

Amendment 1 funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund using money generated from an excise tax on documents.  The money is set aside for a variety of environmental purposes including the improvement of Florida beaches and shores. 

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