SailNet Community banner

21 - 40 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
As you've heard, last year's House Bill 201 became law on 1/1/2020 and now Georgia has the distinction of having the nation's most restrictive anchoring laws, stripping away the right to freely navigate on the waters the state holds in public trust. This impacts not only Georgia boaters but every boater, both domestic and international, who plans to navigate through Georgia waters.

HB201 was a complex and flawed hodge podge of regulations, but was sold in the House and the Senate at an absurdly high level of simplification, leaving out key components that were objectionable to boaters, and focusing instead on water quality and revitalization of a local shellfish industry.

So as we look to HB833 to remedy the wrongs of HB201, we must be able now to sell those points to our legislators under the gold dome of Atlanta. A core group of boating rights advocates have started a Georgia Anchoring Advocacy Fund to engage the services of a lobbyist to do exactly this. So far we have received support from:

America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA),
Facebook Group Save Georgia's Anchorages
Waterway Guide

This is every boater's fight. What is happening in Georgia can happen in your cruising waters. No amount is too small. Please consider supporting the fund at: http://www.greatloop.org/georgia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #23

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,595 Posts
How quickly did this move through the legislature down there? It seems the post-law reaction is greater than the pre. None of it will likely matter, however. Cetainly not until the legislature turns over and the community isn't asking the same folks who voted it in to vote it back out. I think it will need to be modified in the courts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
How quickly did this move through the legislature down there? It seems the post-law reaction is greater than the pre. None of it will likely matter, however. Cetainly not until the legislature turns over and the community isn't asking the same folks who voted it in to vote it back out. I think it will need to be modified in the courts.
HB*201*2019-2020 Regular Session

It sailed right through
Mar/29/2019 - Senate Vote #342 Yea(45) Nay(0) NV(4) Exc(7)
Mar/04/2019 - House Vote #120 Yea(162) Nay(1) NV(8) Exc(9)

The boating community did not have visibility until after passage. Many came to speak at the GA DNR Public Meeting on Jun 17, 2019 which you can see here:

Speakers
Doug Haymans - GA DNR CRD Director 00:00
Kim Russo - AGLCA, SSCA and Coalition (MTOA, DeFever Cruisers) 29:22
Wally Moran - Marine Journalist, ICW Rally Leader 33:25
Jack White - Sailor, Looper, Pilot, Former GA State Representative 36:45
Ed Tillett - Editor in Chief, General Manager Waterway Guide 42:49
David Kennedy - Government Affairs, BoatUS 45:51
Charlie Waller - Owner Isle of Hope Marina and GAMBA President 49:26
Neil Davies - Part time Georgia resident 51:52
Amy Thurman - Georgia Association of Marine Business 57:35
Edwin Longwater - Georgia resident, Captain, Naturalist 59:18
Lee Gatts - National Marine Manufacturers Association 1:03:00
Fred Anderson - DeFever Cruisers 1:06:26
Fred Meyling - Cruiser 1:10:45
Tim McNair - Retired Law Enforcement, Full Time Cruiser 1:13:40
Brand Wyrick - Georgia Resident, Part Time Cruiser 1:18:20
Steve White - Resident, Retired Military 1:21:58
Charles MacMillan - Non Boater, Georgia Conservancy 1:24:18
Joe Green - Georgia Resident, Retied Educator, Sailor 1:26:11
Jerry Morris - Georgia Resident Boater 1:29:57
Walter Clayton - 1:31:51
Dana Rutland - TowBoatUS 1:32:26
David Bosworth - Georgia Resident 1:35:11
Bubba Strickland - Owner Operator Hogan's Marina 1:38:04
Mark Mueller - 1:42:51 / recording ends as battery is depleted

Video courtesy of: J. Gannon, attendee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,595 Posts
......
Mar/29/2019 - Senate Vote #342 Yea(45) Nay(0) NV(4) Exc(7)
Mar/04/2019 - House Vote #120 Yea(162) Nay(1) NV(8) Exc(9)
Bi-partisan support with hardly a vote against. This fight's been lost. Courts.

I was more interested in when the Bill was first introduced and what organization was behind it, but it's moot now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Bi-partisan support with hardly a vote against. This fight's been lost. Courts.

I was more interested in when the Bill was first introduced and what organization was behind it, but it's moot now.
Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division was the main driver, from what I understand. This my require court action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON GA ANCHORING ISSUE
Thanks to all who have supported our effort to establish the Georgia Anchoring Advocacy fund to retain Scott Draper, a professional lobbyist. We have reached 63% of our funding goal in a matter of days with your help. In less than a week Scott has come up to speed with the issues we have identified in HB201, Georgia’s anchoring law that took effect January 1st, 2020. He was able to broker a conference call with GA DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, his team and our anchoring coalition which we just conducted today, Feb 25, 2020.

Over the course of almost two hours, we had open dialogue on the problems DNR was trying to address with HB201 as well as some of the issues the cruising community had with its incarnation as law. All parties felt the call was productive and there is agreement in principle to refine Rep. Ron Stephens’ HB833 to best achieve our mutual objectives and to push the legislation through the current session in the next few weeks. HB833, if it passes, is expected to replace most parts of HB201.

We are not out of the woods yet, but Georgia policymakers appear to now be responsive to changing some of the most questionable facets of the laws passed last year, including restrictions for where vessels may anchor, the identity of cruising and transient vessels. Commissioner Williams is not willing to rescind the Administrative Order signed on December 30, 2019 that prevents boats from anchoring within 1,000 feet of structures throughout the coastal region of the state, until a legislative fix, HB833, is passed by the General Assembly.

We are optimistic about today's progress and look forward to working with Commissioner Williams, with his support, on HB833. Your support is needed now more than ever to assist in the funding of lobbying efforts that have helped us achieve some degree of success in having Georgia DNR and lawmakers hear our collective voice. Our fight continues in the legislature in the days ahead.

Please join nearly 100 other boaters from across the country and around the world who have supported this effort. Contribute at www.greatloop.org/Georgia

Save Georgia's Anchorages
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Did I read right that the rules don't apply to fishing boats?
If so; that is arbitrary, discriminatory and negates many of the reasons for the setback.
Also, if true then it would appear fishing boats can anchor in sensitive areas where others cannot. Why wouldn't all boats be restricted from anchoring in these areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,595 Posts
If they're that willing to renegotiate recently passed law, they know it's vulnerable in court.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Did I read right that the rules don't apply to fishing boats?
If so; that is arbitrary, discriminatory and negates many of the reasons for the setback.
Also, if true then it would appear fishing boats can anchor in sensitive areas where others cannot. Why wouldn't all boats be restricted from anchoring in these areas.
Yes you are correct. Ironic that since their solution to "conflicts" is "distance", why exempt a class of boaters most likely to be close to their docks, fishing the structures?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
11,752 Posts
Maybe they intended to exclude working vessels and this was their attempt to minimize the laws affect of people’s businesses.

In some cases it’s better to enact the law and then moderate it to take care of inconsistencies or loopholes. To try and get an all encompassing law on the first shot isn’t realistic.

Watch in arguments. Every time a politician tries to come up with a solution a certain segment will rail against it from both ends of the spectrum as it not covering all parts of the issue.

Guns are a best example. Almost all American agree with the need for background checks , loopholes in current laws , mental health issues , and maybe limits on the war like guns. However NOTHING gets done or passed despite mass shootings. The arguments are always put forth it can control every little permutation. This means that nothing gets done.

A more pragmatic approach would be to pass what we can, and then move on to the issues we can’t agree on as addendums to these laws. Not adding “pork” or unrelated topics to these laws/ bills effectively kills them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Georgia House Bill 833 Update:

Your emails imploring Georgia legislators to support Rep Stephens HB833 have been successful. Today March 10, 2020, HB833 was voted on favorably in The Rules Committee and will proceed forward to the full House floor for vote Thursday.

Following an anticipated favorable disposition in The House, it will go to The Senate on legislative day 28, aka "Crossover Day".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
:grin
Georgia House Bill 833 Update:

Your emails imploring Georgia legislators to support Rep Stephens HB833 have been successful. Today March 10, 2020, HB833 was voted on favorably in The Rules Committee and will proceed forward to the full House floor for vote Thursday.

Following an anticipated favorable disposition in The House, it will go to The Senate on legislative day 28, aka "Crossover Day".
I'm happy to convey the news that HB833 passed in the House today and will cross over in to The Senate starting Friday.

Kimberly Russo of America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association just sent out this great summary of the progress that has been made and is reprinted here with her permission:

"Update on Georgia Anchoring
Relief is one step closer for boaters wanting to cruise the waterway of Georgia! The Georgia House of Representatives today passed HB-833, a bill that “undoes” much of the damage created by rules put into place earlier this year that were widely viewed as unfriendly towards cruisers, and some of the most restrictive in the nation.
On January 1, 2020, HB-201 became law in Georgia, giving the Department of Natural Resources broad power to determine where boats may anchor. It also attempted to over-ride federal regulations on discharge of sewage. To implement the law, DNR issued an Administrative Order banning anchoring within 1,000-feet of marine structures and shellfish beds, and within 300-feet of marinas.
However, Representative Ron Stephens, who happens to be a Gold Looper, filed a bill to help fix these issues and reverse the unfairness of the rules for cruisers. After gathering feedback from DNR and the cruising community, the final version of Rep. Stephens’ bill, HB-833, was issued and worked its way through the legislative process. It passed the House by a vote of 157 to 6 today.
HB-833 takes back the power from DNR to establish anchoring zones, and instead statutorily sets the setback where anchoring is not allowed at:
300-feet from a marina
150-feet from marine infrastructure other than a marina
500 feet from approved commercial shellfish beds and designated public harvest areas
Further, HB-833 removes statutory language created by last year’s HB-201 that attempted to override federal regulations by making all the Georgia coast a no-discharge zone. The area cannot qualify as a federal no-discharge zone due to the lack of pump out facilities available. This attempt to side-step federal regulations was removed by HB-833.
Another change is that HB-833 establishes long-term and short-term anchoring. Short-term anchoring is defined as anchoring a vessel within a one-mile radius of a documented anchoring point where a vessel is anchored for up to 14 cumulative days in a calendar year. If your stay is short-term, the above setbacks apply. However, if you want to stay within a one-mile radius of the same spot for more than 14 cumulative days in a calendar year, you are long-term anchoring and a permit must be obtained from DNR under terms and conditions as the commissioner or his or her designee may prescribe. This is a win for cruisers, as most don’t stay in one place for long, and still gives DNR some additional “teeth” to regulate derelict and nuisance vessels, which was their primary goal with the rules set to implement HB-201.
The next step for HB-833 is to work its way through the Senate side of the Georgia General Assembly. The session lasts into April. We’ll keep you posted on progress and post any calls-to-action that are needed via the AGLCA forum and social media."

If you would like to see the actual presentation and passage of HB833, watch the video on our youtube channel here: https://youtu.be/zdz8L8HyvyQ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,595 Posts
.....still gives DNR some additional “teeth” to regulate derelict and nuisance vessels, which was their primary goal with the rules set to implement HB-201......
First I recall reading that motivation so overtly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter #38

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I think all boaters should band to gather and refuse to do ANY perches of fuel, or any shopping in the state. Bypass them totaly with your money. They will get the message.:crying
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,595 Posts
I think all boaters should band to gather and refuse to do ANY perches of fuel, or any shopping in the state. Bypass them totaly with your money. They will get the message.:crying
I agree with the sentiment, but I think boycotts often kill the wrong target. The local marinas didn't pass this law. The State would never miss the pennies of tax revenue that a few passing cruisers would cause with a boycott, but the local marinas and stores would.
 
21 - 40 of 51 Posts
Top