Help Needed: Florida anchoring under attack

Published on April 22nd, 2014

by Margaret Podlich, President, BoatU.S.
I need your help in Florida! There is a last minute attempt in the FL House of Representatives to amend the FL Fish and Wildlife Bill to restrict anchoring for boats in Miami-Dade County and Broward County.

With 64 municipalities in those 2 counties, if this Margolis/Gonzalez Anti-Anchoring Amendment is passed, there is a potential for 64 different anchoring policies to be set in those areas. That’s not good for boating, and it’s not good precedent for the rest of the state.

Please take a minute and send a message to your FL Representative tonight (April 22), asking for their help to protect boating and anchoring rights. Ask them as they consider tomorrow House Bill 955, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Bill, to OPPOSE ANY AMENDMENTS.

Here’s our official action alert. Please follow the link below to easily send a message to your specific Representative…

Action Needed Now:
On Wednesday, April 23rd, the Florida House of Representatives is voting on a Florida Fish and Wildlife Bill, and will consider adding a last-minute amendment that would allow Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to restrict anchoring. We need you to contact your state representative asap and ask them to pass a “clean bill” without amendments in order to stop this anti-boater initiative.

Click here to send a message to your representative. You can also call them – click here to get their phone number in Tallahassee.

Background:
Florida Senator Gwen Margolis (Miami Beach) and Representative Eduardo “Eddy” Gonzalez (Miami Springs) have introduced amendments to Florida Senate Bill 1126 and House Bill 955 (the Florida Fish and Wildlife Bill) that would allow Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to restrict anchoring.

The Florida House is voting Wednesday, April 23rd, on House Bill 955 which does not currently have an “anti-anchoring” amendment. We need you to contact your state representative and urge them to pass a “clean bill” without amendments in order to help stop these anti-anchoring proposals that could severely impact anchoring in some of the most important areas along Florida’s coasts, and establish dangerous precedent for the rest of the state.

For a number of years BoatU.S. and our Members have worked tirelessly to prohibit localities from enacting a patchwork of laws and ordinances that restrict the anchoring of non-live aboard vessels outside permitted mooring fields. We want to ensure that active, responsible, cruising boaters continue to have an array of options, including anchoring out, using moorings and tying up at docks. We do not want to go back to the old, and broken, system of confusing local laws which make legitimate cruisers unwelcome in local waters.

The proposed anti-anchoring amendments directly counter the statewide effort to develop consistent and rational options for cruising boaters.

We really need your voice to help stop this proposal. Please act now, and forward this to your boating friends tonight. Help us defeat this 11th-hour potential derailment of viable anchoring in Florida.

Click here for additional information on anchoring in Florida.

More information: David Kennedy, BoatU.S. Government Affairs at 703-461-2878 x8363.



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