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Hey All,

If you ever dream of cutting ties and cruising, its likely that your path will lead you through Florida on your way to the islands. If you dont want that dream to turn into a nightmare as you wait for the right weather window to pass over to the Bahamas from Lake Worth, Lake Sylvia or Biscayne, I'd recommend that you please read the following article and take action asap!

Miami Boating News :: CALL TO ACTION: Help Preserve Florida Anchoring Rights


CALL TO ACTION: Help Preserve Florida Anchoring Rights
Many municipalities have already passed ordinances ready to go into effect as soon as FWC language is approved

Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CALL TO ACTION: Help Preserve Florida Anchoring Rights

Our precious anchoring rights in Florida are in jeopardy again. According to Eric Dybing of the Florida Open Water Society, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued a draft proposing language to be incorporated in House Bill 1423 that will severely impact the right to achor in municipal waters around the state of Florida.

The following information was posted on the Florida Open Water Society's website this past week:

Version Seven has been incorporated into House Bill 1423 and posted in the House by Representative Trautman. The bill covers multiple issues and the anchoring language is scattered throughout the bills text. Click here to read Version Seven on the FWC website.

Please add Representative Trautman to your call list 850-488-9465 and e-mail list. It is important to impress on Representative Troutman the negative impact this bill could have on the boating industry. Request he kill or amend the anchoring provisions to protect boaters' rights.

The Florida Legislature begins hearing bills in committee this week and we expect several committees to hear the FWC bill during the next two weeks. Florida Open Water Society has dispatched Vice President John Smith to attend the committee meetings and represent our issues over the next two weeks.

John needs our help! Both houses of the legislature are going to be over run with lobbyist attempting to make the case for various bills. In order for John to get access and be heard, we must all communicate with our legislative members and staff showing the grass roots support needed to get attention in Tallahassee.

Each of the below listed Senators are on a committee that will be hearing the FWC Legislation. Our goal is to completely overrun the Legislative Offices with requests to speak to legislators over anchoring issues. Please call each Legislator listed and request a telephone meeting to discuss the issues. We are asking each of our members and supporters to place calls to all the Legislators. Leave messages, talk to aids, ask for call backs, hold conversations over the issues. These calls need to take place this week in order to impact the committees in time.

Senators on Community Affairs,
Bennett 850-487-5078,
Siplin 850-487-5190,
Altman 850-487-5053,
Deutch 850-487-5091,
Garcia 850-487-5106,
Gardiner 850-487-5047,
Hill 850-487-5024,
Ring 850-487-5024,
Storms 850-487-5072
Wise 850-487-5027

Senators on Environmental,
Constantine 850-487-5050,
Sobel 850-487-5097,
Detert 850-487-5081,
Dockery 850-487-5040,
Jones 850-487-5065
Rich 850-487-5103.

Senators on Judiciary,
Constantine ,
Joyner 850-487-5059,
Baker 850-487-5014,
Fasano 850-487-5062,
Gelber 850-487-5121,
Haridopolos 850-487-5056,
Peaden 850-487-5000,
Richter 850-487-5124 and Ring

Senators on Commerce,
Garcia, Gelber,
Crist 850-487-5068,

Lynn 850-487-5033,
Oelrich 850-487-5020,
Prutt 850-487-5088,
Richter and
Smith 850-487-5112

Representatives on Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee,
Williams 850-488-2047,
Poppell 850-488-3006,
Brandenburg 850-488-0260,
Bembry 850-488-7870,
Boyd 850-488-9835,
Bullard 850-488-5480,
Burgin 850-488-9910,
Crisafulli 850-488-4669,
Culp 850-488-2770,
Drake 850-488-4726,
Evers 850-488-8188,
Glorioso 850-488-0807,
Jones 850-488-6897,
Mayfield 850-488-0952,
Pafford 850-488-0175,
Patronis 850-488-9696,
Renuart 850-488-0001,
Schultz 850-488-0805


Each Florida legislator has pet issues that they work hard on. As a result getting them fired up about a issue that may not of been on their radar in the past is complicated. A few issues seem to sound true to all legislative members.

* The boating industries' impact on the Florida economy is over 18 BILLION dollars annually.
* Florida is getting a reputation as a boater unfriendly state. Multiple annual cruisers have expressed concern over there future plans not Including Florida in the future.
* Other states and cities have embraced the cruising community with charge free transient docks, parties for cruisers, state and local government funded services. In contrast, Florida is getting the reputation of "cruiser go away".
* The FWC bill is anti boater and anti Florida's Economic health.
* The vast amount of boats stored at anchor are well maintained and beautiful vessels that add to the community and its economic health. By banning anchoring the state would direct the functional equivalent of removing all homes on a street as a result of a few properly maintained homes.
* In south Florida as an example, over 2,000 wet slips have been lost to development in the past 24 months.
* Derelict vessels are a real problem that needs a real solution, not a Law that penalizes quality boat owners and the Florida economy. Several proposals have been put forth to actually resolve the derelict vessel issue but the bills sponsors have refused to include them ?
* This bill is a direct delegation of state control over state waters to local governments that have ignored, violated and directly refused to comply with the legislatures 2006 law to prevent local governments from doing the very thing this bill seeks to establish as law.
* On water storage of boats is a reality. Unfunded legislation that directs others to act on the states behalf is never a good idea.
* As an example Sarasota has already passed an ordinance that would make anchoring on a majority of the bay illegal if this bill passes, although FWC intent may of not been to allow this. The bill is so poorly written that constant abuse is not only probable but actually planned and in Sarasota's case already enacted into city Ordinance.
* Finally, Ask them to KILL or significantly amend this bill to protect the FLORIDA ECONOMY, OUR MARINE INDUSTRY and boaters.
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