146-8. Disposition of mineral deposits in State lands under water.

The State, acting at the request of the Department of Environmental Quality, is fully authorized and empowered to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any and all mineral deposits belonging to the State which may be found in the bottoms of any sounds, rivers, creeks, or other waters of the State. The State, acting at the request of the Department of Environmental Quality, is authorized and empowered to convey or lease to such person or persons as it may, in its discretion, determine, the right to take, dig, and remove from such bottoms such mineral deposits found therein belonging to the State as may be sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of to them by the State. The State, acting at the request of the Department of Environmental Quality, is authorized to grant to any person, firm, or corporation, within designated boundaries for definite periods of time, the right to such mineral deposits, or to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of same upon such other terms and conditions as may be deemed wise and expedient by the State and to the best interest of the State. Before any such sale, lease, or contract is made, it shall be approved by the Department of Administration and by the Governor and Council of State.

Any sale, lease, or other disposition of such mineral deposits shall be made subject to all rights of navigation and subject to such other terms and conditions as may be imposed by the State.

The net proceeds derived from the sale, lease, or other disposition of such mineral deposits shall be paid into the treasury of the State, but the same shall be used exclusively by the Department of Environmental Quality in paying the costs of administration of this section and for the development and conservation of the natural resources of the State, including any advertising program which may be adopted for such purpose, all of which shall be subject to the approval of the Governor, acting by and with the advice of the Council of State. (1937, c. 285; C.S., s. 113-26; 1959, c. 683, s. 1; 1973, c. 1262, s. 86; 1977, c. 771, s. 4; 1989, c. 727, s. 218; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 2015-241, s. 14.30(u).)