More debate on proposed Florida statewide mooring laws

What more can you do to preserve anchoring in FL? UPDATE

Region: General
Date Reported: Apr 10, 2015
Reported By: Mike Ahart, News Editor
Source: WG Staff

CRFund.jpg

UPDATE:  you can help greatly by attending Senate and House hearings this Tuesday, Apr. 14, 2015, inTallahassee – 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A Senate committee hearing for SB-1548, which includes teh anchoring restriction within 200′ of waterfront residences, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. We were hopeful that an amendment would be introduced to change the setback provision, but none has been put forward thus far.

The House bill on at-risk vessels (House Bill 7123 ) will be read in committee at 9 a.m. Although this bill does not include anchoring restrictions for vessels that are neither considered “derelict” nor at risk of becoming derelict, amendments may be introduced to more closely match the Senate bill.

If you can join SSCA, AGLCA and BoatUS Tuesday in Tallahassee, please do. If you plan to go, or if you need or could help set up transportation or a carpool, let me know and I’ll connect you with others who will be there – a large showing by cruisers will make a difference!

(EDITORIAL) As a restrictive anchoring bill pushes its way through the Florida legislature, cruisers have voiced their disapproval by writing State Senate and House members, and spreading the word to other boaters. The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has led the effort in Tallahassee, with support from BoatUS, America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA), and other concerned cruisers.

Although most of these folks are volunteering their time and effort, the costs of research, travel, and other expenses have been mounting. Meanwhile, many Florida towns and businesses which welcome and rely on the influx of cruising tourists have not yet recognized the likely negative consequences stemming from the proposed 200-foot residential setback rule.

Here’s a couple ways we can help:

SSCA has set up the “2015 Cruisers’ Rights Fundto help defray the costs and increase the effectiveness of our efforts. From the donation page:

“The Concerned Cruisers’ Committee (CCC) of Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has, for many years, supported the rights of cruisers to navigate, anchor and enjoy the “Seven Seas” both in the U.S. and abroad. We have had recent success in Annapolis and in Georgia, and we are engaged in South Carolina, Washington and California. 

“Last year we helped to defeat a hostile amendment to the FWC Budget that would have limited anchoring in most of Broward and Miami/Dade. Anchoring opponents have introduced a new bill that is even more onerous and would dramatically limit anchoring in Florida. SB1548 is being heard by committees as your read this, and SSCA is there, on the ground, fighting for your right to anchor.”

Any little bit you can donate will help – visit the 2015 Cruisers’ Rights Fund page to help.

Another way you can help is by informing the marine stores, marinas, gear manufactures, town tourism councils, etc… that this legislation would set an onerous precedent and could negatively affect boating in Florida – and every other state where there is navigable public waters.

Some might still be thinking that a 200-foot residential buffer wouldn’t affect cruisers much. But the fact is that, especially when a vessel’s swinging circle is added to the buffer, many anchorages relied on by cruisers would become effectively off-limits, affecting not only the freedom, but the safety of cruising boaters. More importantly, the 200 feet could later grow to 300 feet (that’s the length of a football field, by the way) or more, and the Florida precedent might pave the way for legislation in Georgia, or Maryland, or Michigan.. Courtesy, “Cruising News,” April 10, 2015.

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