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Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, Inc
2029 North Third Street
Jacksonville Beach
Florida 32250
(904) 247-1972 x418

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THE PUBLIC TRUST ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL INSTITUTE OF FLORIDA

The primary focus of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida is the zealous protection of the City of Jacksonville's Preservation Project and other federal and state preserved lands and waters.

Our Institute pursues legal means, including litigation, to protect and preserve the public lands and waters within the Public Trust. The "Public Trust Doctrine" is an ancient legal doctrine, codified in the Florida Constitution, which holds that public lands and waters are held in trust for the use of all people. Approximately 80% of the Institute's total time is allocated to the protection and preservation of the environment within the Public Trust. Additionally, the Institute promotes education regarding the Public Trust concept to political leaders, government officials, and citizens through activities such as speaking engagements and also writing articles and letters. The Institute also promotes the use and enjoyment of land and waters within the public trust. The institute is headquartered at the law offices of Anderson & Miller P.A. in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Present and planned activities for the Institute include:

  • The recruitment of Public Trust members including the promotion of the "Adopt a Preservation Park" project.
  • Promoting the use and enjoyment of land within the public trust. Establish a speaker's bureau to supply civic groups with presentations regarding the Preservation Project and other Public Trust lands and waters.
  • Complete an interactive "How To Manual" for challenging land use decisions.
  • Build on and expand our "Public Trust Map" to include a computer model which will indicate the location of potential permitted development activities. This "Map" will allow us to closely monitor the application for such permits to try to avoid damage to Public Trust resources and will also track pollution which might affect these lands and waters.

From an organizational standpoint, the Public Trust incorporates different divisions in order to better manage the difficult task of safeguarding our pubic resources. These divisions are:

LAW -- working on actual cases, legal research and writing; working with the other branches to coordinate their efforts in legal cases.

SCIENCE -- establishing computer programs to take in all regulatory agency data; scientific research and writing; reviewing agency data and transmitting it in understandable terms to other divisions. Field work such as testing for pollution at targeted sites. Reviewing documents at agency offices.

COMMUNICATIONS -- assisting with public participation in the governmental and legal process; maintaining a "speakers bureau" to send out speakers to community groups, government meetings, council sessions, etc.; investigative reporting; marketing the Institute, letters to editors, communications with government agencies, lobbying, etc.

ECONOMICS -- evaluating the actual quantifiable benefits for preservation of land and water in Northeast Florida; evaluating the actual quantifiable benefits for environmental protection in NE Florida; evaluating the actual quantifiable economic costs of pollution and development adverse to Public Trust resources. Proposing creative tax policies to maintain the public trust.