BoatUS Asks FL Governor Scott to Veto Special Anchoring Carve Out
Allowing a select few to carve out their own special anchoring restrictions, and bypassing a pilot program designed to provide practical, uniform anchoring regulations statewide is a mistake, says BoatUS President Margaret Bonds Podlich in a letter sent today to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Podlich, who represents over 115,000 members in the state and over half a million nationwide, is asking the Governor to veto House Bill 1051, which would ban the overnight anchoring of boats in three specific areas of South Florida, providing special privileges to these select areas.
BoatUS President Margaret Bonds Podlich. Photo Credit Lee Kriel
Said Podlich in her letter to Governor Scott, "BoatUS believes that creating special carve outs directly counters the years of effort that have gone into developing rational statewide anchoring regulations."
"For many boat owners one of the joys of boating is to travel to new places, drop anchor, dock or pick up a mooring and then spend time and money exploring the local community. Prior to 2009, boats cruising Florida faced a hodge-podge of inconsistent local anchoring rules that made boaters feel very unwelcome in some of the state’s waters. We heard from many of our members who found communities whose ordinances banned or severely limited anchoring in their jurisdictions."
"BoatUS actively supported the 2009 legislation to create the Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program and thereafter we worked with all five of the local jurisdictions as they developed their ordinances."
The BoatUS President highlighted Pilot Program provisions designed to promote the use of mooring fields, promote public access, enhance navigational safety, protect maritime infrastructure and the marine environment, and to deter improperly stored, abandoned, or derelict vessels.
"We remain firmly convinced the Pilot Program can provide some elements that local governments might use to manage their waterways while still allowing a full range of mooring and anchoring options for active cruising boaters. Local governments throughout the state have patiently waited for a balanced approach, one that will emerge in 2017 from the Pilot Program results," added Podlich.
"Enactment of House Bill 1051 – with its provisions of special exceptions when it comes to overnight anchoring in three very specific areas of the state – is directly counter to all the time, effort and financial resources that have gone into creating anchoring rules that are fair to everyone."
The full text of the letter to Governor Scott can be found at BoatUS.com/gov.
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About the BoatUS Foundation:
Celebrating 50 years in 2016, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.