The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has been granted authorization to establish the Four Mile Aquaculture Use Zone in Apalachicola Bay and to execute 38 submerged land leases for use of the full water column. FDACS will accept lease applications from March 6 through March 20, 2020. Download the following support documentation.

Public notice of open aquaculture lease application period

– Application for a state-owned sovereignty submerged land aquaculture lease

– Map of proposed Four Mile Aquaculture Use Zone

Pre-application workshops were held on March 4th and 5th in Apalachicola to provide information about the application process and to inform those interested in applying about pertinent rules, oyster farming gear and management, and financial considerations in setting up an off-bottom oyster farm. Following are the presentations given at these workshops.

– Lease and Aquaculture Certification of Registration Application Process
  Portia Sapp, FDACS Division of Aquaculture

– Aquaculture Lease Management Rules
  Charlie Culpepper, FDACS Division of Aquaculture

– Shellfish Harvesting and Processing
  Kim Norgren, FDACS Division of Aquaculture

– Current State of Florida’s Oyster Aquaculture Industry
  Leslie Sturmer, University of Florida/IFAS, Shellfish Aquaculture Extension

– Oyster Farm Gear and Management
  Bill Walton, Auburn University Shellfish Lab

– Oyster Aquaculture Financial Considerations
  Andrew Ropicki, University of Florida/IFAS, Food and Resource Economics

Presentations can be accessed here (PDF file).

For more information about the leasing process, contact Charlie Culpepper, Assistant Division Director, at 850-617-7600 (phone) or Charlie.Culpepper@fdacs.gov (email). Also check out their website, https://www.fdacs.gov/Agriculture-Industry/Aquaculture/Aquaculture-Submerged-Land-Leasing.

For more information about off-bottom oyster aquaculture in Florida, click on Oyster at this website’s home page, or http://shellfish.ifas.ufl.edu/oyster-culture-overview/.