While Florida’s ports are independently governed and operated, in 1990, the Legislature created Chapter 311, F.S. This law authorized the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) Program, which established a collaborative relationship between FDOT and the seaports and codified an annual seaport grant program (Sections 311.07 and 311.09, F.S.).

The FSTED Program is managed by the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, which consists of the fifteen deep water port directors, the Executive Director of DEO, and the Secretary of FDOT. The FSTED Council annually solicits and approves project applications submitted by each of the individual seaports. The list of FSTED recommended projects is reviewed by DEO, FDOT, and FSTED staff to ensure that each project is consistent with state statutes, as well as master, comprehensive, economic development and transportation plans and programs.

This program provides $25 million dollars' annually in grants, in addition to the $35 million allocated by FDOT annually to support bonded state revenues, for a total of $60 million dollars' in combined annual state support for the Seaports. State funding is matched by the local port, usually on a 50/50 basis.

The FSTED Council is also responsible for preparing a five-year Florida Seaport Mission Plan and for the Small County Dredging Program.

For more information, call Dan Fitz-Patrick at (850) 414-4500.