Water-Related News

Bill would protect water-authority lands from artifact looters

By Eloísa Ruano González

Treasure hunters have long pilfered arrowheads, pottery and other archaeological artifacts on state lands, risking jail time if caught.

But a loophole in state law meant that looters didn't face consequences for their thievery on Lake County Water Authority lands. That protection may be about to end.

Legislators in their recently concluded session approved a bill that makes it a crime to pilfer historical finds on water-authority lands. Looters on lands of the two water authorities affected — Lake's and the Toho Water Authority in Osceola — could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under the legislation, which will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.