What a bummer. This trend only seems to be going one way. Can anyone recall winning anything back lately, or are we just holding off the landlubbing barbarians at the gate.
So there was a proposed bill in FL, not state wide, but around the areas of Ortega and Cedar River, to restrict anchoring. Enough boaters voiced their opposition that the council backed off. Good government in action, I say! And thanks to all the boaters who took the time to speak. Read more here:
Iíd be curious of any backstory here. Were the commercial fisherman complaining? Too many squatters? These look like narrow channels, where there recurring issues with impeding traffic. I read the accusation that waterfront landowners may have lobbied for this.
During the public hearing held in the summer of 2019 where the public was invited to comment, Rep Hogan, sponsor of House Bill 201, made a reference to 4 people on a docked yacht, throwing trash overboard, pumping black water overboard, etc. When challenged on how he knew they were pumping overboard, he acknowledged he could not know for sure. The channels are narrrow in some places yes (not as narrow as Rock Pile) so its even more egregious to give 1000ft radius control to the land owner.
1000 feet seems arbitrary and capricious. If youíre not anchoring inside a shellfish bed or a hazard to a structure or shoreline, whatís the logic of being so far away. It seems only to the be exercise of oneís will and not a defensible distance. One would think a legal action could be brought forward, but Iím surprised that BoatUS doesnít do more of that.
If you assume it's a semi circle, that's 36 acres of navigable waterway that the homeowner now controls. These waterways are owned by the state but held in the public trust for all to use.
There is a Facebook Group dedicated to the discussions around these regs. If it can happen in FL and GA, it can happen next anywhere. I encourage all boaters to come be part of this discussion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveGeorgiasAnchorages/