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Anyone wanting to use that public land for private profit — such as building a marina — would have to pay the state for a submerged land lease. Last year such leases brought in $12 million for the state.
The two proposed bills would change the "ordinary high water line" definition so public property would no longer include areas where the water rises due to annual rains. The dry season, not the wet, would determine the boundary between public and private land.
"Boaters could be arrested for standing on the shore fishing," said Charles Pattison of 1,000 Friends of Florida. "Hunters could get arrested for hunting in marshes that are dry in the low water season."
That's why Hitchcock is so dismayed: Florida's flat marshes are prime hunting areas that could suddenly change owners.
"You change the location of the line by a few inches, and you could lose thousands of acres," he said.
Gary S. Colecchio wrote: »
There is no difference between Mr. Schwart's use of Florida/Texas panthers to block road construction and Mr. Rose's use of manatees to stop dock construction. You cannot conveniently approve of the practice of using an animals presence as straw horse because you don't like bowling. The practice is either acceptable or it isn't. To me it isn't .
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