Georgia Livaboards Org
In response to the Ga DNR starting to enforce the no liveaboard law in the Savannah Ga area, we have decided to organize and take this to the court of public opinion, since none can afford to fight in court. If you are not aware, anyone using their vessel for human or animal habitation in excess of 30 days in a calendar year in Ga waters is considered a live-aboard, contrary to the public good, and subject to a $10,000/day fine if they are violated under this act.
The first meeting of the organization (all six of us who have been forced to abandon our homes) will take place on Sunday April 6th 2008 in Willmington Island Ga. We hope to have the website up (galiveaboards.org) within the next few days. The focus of the website will be to provide information, and hopefully to organize via the forums and email, the rest of the Ga liveaboards who may not know that DNR has started enforcing this ordinance for the first time in 15 years.
Pass the word, You may be next
Capt David ONeill
We're planning to (or was) live aboard in the Savannah area. After hearing how the DNR is rapidly running through the live aboards in the area, we're more than a little hesitant. Would you recommend following through with our plans to live there or bail out and head north to a less hostile state?
Does that include RVs as well? Or do they specifically mention boats? Seems an odd public good law to pass. I would think banning smoking would do more good but be a bit harder to pass. :)
I think the Feds might have something to say about this, since it would impact anyone passing through the waters of the state of Georgia, even if they didn't live there permanently, the way you've stated it. For instance, If I was a snowbird sailor, and decided to go down to up to the Chesapeake, and stopped in Georgia for 7 days on my way up from Florida, and then had to stop and stay in Georgia for three weeks for repairs to the engine on my way back to Florida in the fall... I'd be in violation of the law... Even though I would just be delivering my boat from Florida, where it winters, to the Chesapeake, for the summer cruising season, and back...I'd still be guilty of breaking the law.
Current law as written
Here is a copy of the pertinent sections of the DNR regs... As to living aboard in GA, we will see, but as of now, I would be in Charleston if I had a choice.
[quote]Coastal Marshlands Protection Act
O.C.G.A. § 12-5-280 et. seq.
12-5-288. Restriction on granting of permit; size restriction; activities and structures considered contrary to public interest.
(a) If the project is not water related or dependent on waterfront access or can be satisfied by the
use of an alternative nonmarshland site or by use of existing public facilities, a permit usually
should not be granted pursuant to Code Section 12-5-286.
(b) The amount of marshlands to be altered must be minimum in size. The following activities
and structures are normally considered to be contrary to the public interest when located in
coastal marshlands but the final decision as to whether any activity or structure is considered to
be in the public interest shall be in the sound discretion of the committee:
(1) Filling of marshlands for residential, commercial, and industrial uses;
(2) Filling of marshlands for private parking lots and private roadways;
(3) Construction of dump sites and depositing of any waste materials or dredge spoil;
(4) Dredging of canals or ditches for the purpose of draining coastal marshlands;
(6) Construction of lagoons or impoundments for waste treatment, cooling, agriculture, or
aquaculture which would occupy or damage coastal marshlands or life forms therein;
(7) Construction of structures which constitute an obstruction of view to adjoining riparian
landowners, including signs and enclosures; and
(8) Occupying a live-aboard for more than 30 days during any calendar year; provided, however,
that the commissioner may grant extensions of time beyond 30 days to persons making a request
in writing stating the reasons for such extension. Owners of docks where live-aboards are
moored as well as owners and occupants of live-aboards are responsible under this part.
(8) 'Live-aboard' means a floating vessel or other water craft which is moored to a dock, tree, or
piling or anchored in the estuarine waters of the state and is utilized as a human or animal abode.
Live-aboards include but are not limited to monohulls, multihulls, houseboats, floating homes,
and other floating structures which are used for human or animal habitation.
Hope to have the website up and running in the next few days. Forum will be on line. Please stop by and thank you for your interest and support
Capt David ONeill
If the boat spends 30 days anchored during multiple transits through the state of Georgia... I don't think the state is going to like the way the Feds are going to react. :)
To the best of my knowledge this is and has not been applied to transients. Of course, this is the first time it is being applied to anyone on a general basis. As to the Feds, they could care less. Unless, of course, you can get it into court, and we are not able to do that at this time. Hence the court of "Public Opinion"
From what you posted:
Why was this law passed, or what's the issue with liveaboards in Georgia that caused this to be passed?
Does BoatUS have anything to say about this?
to clean out a colony of liveaboards in the upstate area about 15 years ago...
now it is being used for ????? It seems we P***ed is somebodies cornflakes and it is now being enforced again. Whether this is only local to the Willmington Island/Savannah area or statewide remains to be seen.
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