Management Plan Process

The State of Florida acquired Fish Island in November 2019. In October 2020, the City of St. Augustine received a lease from the state designating the City as the manager of Fish Island Preserve.

Within 10 months of an executed lease, the City is required to submit a management plan to the state’s Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) for approval. ARC is comprised of members from each of the state’s land management agencies, the Florida Department of State, two agency-appointed members and four governor-appointed members. ARC’s responsibilities include evaluating and ranking the state’s land acquisition projects and reviewing management plans for state-owned conservation lands.

There is great deal of information that goes into an ARC-approved management plan. Besides the natural and cultural resource information, there is a recreation/conceptual land use portion, and goals, objectives and a budget with a 10-year planning horizon. 

To support the planning process, the Fish Island Public Input Questionnaire occurred from July-August 2020. There were 653 responses to survey questions about what recreational activities and amenities the public would like to see on the property, and what the public would like to name the property. The information from the survey was compiled and used in developing the recreation/conceptual land use portion of the Fish Island Preserve management plan.

Another integral part of the management planning process is to have a public workshop/meeting to obtain feedback on what the public would like to see included in the final draft of the management plan. That meeting was held on March 4, 2021.

The management plan was approved by the state of Florida in May 2021. The city commission approved the plan on June 28, 2021. A copy of the approved plan can be found here.