3s- SB~ WUl\t>A$ LIME
December 3, 1992
David M. Maloney
Office of the Governor
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
RE: Kissimmee Restoration
Dear David: 6
Thank you for e g me a copy of your letter to Tilford Creel of November 24, 1992,
following up. meeng in September regarding land acquisition by South Florida Water
Management District in support of the Kissimmee Restoration project.
I do not understand your conclusion that setting a rough, ordinary high water line will not be of
help in negotiating acquisitions because the rough line, relative to all of the trustee "policy"
lines, is extremely close to the safe upland line. The reason for setting the ordinary high water
line is because that is the boundary between sovereignty submerged lands and riparian uplands.
Referring to it as "rough" was an effort to preserve the right f for future refinement.
Persistence in perpetim theler "safe upland line" merely complicates the issue.
The term "safe upland line" does not appear anywhere in the Florida Statutes. It is only used
one place in the Florida Administrative Code and there is no definition or set of instructions
within the code for locating it. It is used as follows:
When negotiating the purchase of properties that include wetlands,
the acquiring agency shall apprise he seller of the benefits of
obtaining a safe upland lie survey, as opposed to a mean high
water or ordinary high water survey. (Emphasis added.)
See TIITF Rule 1801.008(2), F.A.C.
On October 16, 1992, I received from Terry Wilkinson a paper entitled Florida Department of
Natural Resources, Bureau of Surveying Mapping, Safe Upland Lines (SUL) Methodology for
Submerged Land Lease or Easement Surveys in Non Tidal Waters, revised July/92. A copy is
attached. This purports toouline a procedure for dete ing safe uplad line on non tidal lakes
and rivers for the purpose of area computations or submerged land leases and easements. It
The SUL determined by this procedure is not to be considered a
sovereignty slmerged land boundary and will not be recognized
by the Department for use in controlling future development or for
any other use or purpose unless specifically stated otherwise by the
The second page states:
A safe upland line (SUL) is at or above the OHWL or MHWL
elevation and is used where a more accurate (and more costly)
closed delination of the water boundary would not result in a
benefit to the applicant or to the state.
On August 12, 1992, Terry Wilkinson, Wiesponsito my request for the basis of his Bureau's
eco ening certain elevations for determination of the safe upland line for acquisition
purposes along the Kissimmee River. Copy attached. You'll note that he states that "we
normally provide SUL elevations of 10% stage duration because pat studies conducted by the
Department have shown that this is typically at the upper end of the range associated with other
OHWL indicators." Is this to suggest that the state is basing claim along the entire
Kissimmee River, solely on hydrologic data collected at only four stations over a single, 21-year
Mr. Wilkinson cautions that this methodology is not intended to represent the true boundary line
as would be determined by extensive field inspections along the Kissimmee basin which would
correlate all possible indicators for a proper OHWL determination.
South Floda Water management District states that according to Florid Department of Natural
a safe upland line (SUL) is used in lieu of the ordinary high water line (OHWL)
to provide the public with an economical mean of detemiing a line that may be
used for development planning and other purposes on freshwater lakes and rivers.
The OHWL is the true boundary of the water body the SUL is not. The SUL is
upland of the OWHL and its location is generally based on the presence of mature
upland vegetation. Hydrolical data and soils may also be used to determine the
location of the OHWL.O,