Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Manatee Plan Nearing Approval

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Manatee Plan Nearing Approval

Article excerpt

The city of Jacksonville's long battle to gain approval of a final manatee-protection plan appears near an end.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission is expected to vote Wednesday at its meeting in Tallahassee to approve a plan to restrict boat speeds on the waters of Duval County.

"I can't imagine the commissioners not voting on this," FWC executive director Allan Egbert said Friday. "This has been a tedious process. I feel we're real close."

As things have developed, the two key issues -- the differences between FWC staff's recommendations to modify the plan devised by the Jacksonville Waterways Commission and Quinton White and the Jacksonville University Department of Biology and Marine Science -- are the size of shoreline buffers on the St. Johns River between the Fuller Warren Bridge and the Clay and St. Johns county lines and in the Ortega River.

But Egbert said the FWC feels those issues can be resolved fairly easily. …

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