Florida is once again trying to restrict or eliminate our rights to anchor in public waters by giving enforcement back to local governments.
I believe that allowing local governments to decide whether we can anchor in their waters is nothing more than a decision to eliminate all anchoring in Florida waters.
I don’t disagree with the intent of the legislation which is to rid Florida waters of derelict and unsavory boats, but unfortunately it impacts the rest of us equally. If a house in a neighborhood is in disrepair, the neighborhood association addresses the issue with that particular homeowner, it doesn’t kick every house out of the neighborhood.
I don’t like to anchor or be in a mooring field with a boat which has several inches of barnacles growing on the waterline, the companionway open, sails ripped and appears to be abandoned – although many of these boats have people living aboard. I support eliminating anchoring by vessels who can’t move under their own propulsion and several of the other ideas proposed by this survey.
But I totally disagree with letting local governments decide where we can (and can’t) anchor. Under the setbacks proposed, several of our favorite anchorages – Glovers Bight, Cape Haze and even Factory Bay, Marco Island will be eliminated because they aren’t large enough – or have enough deep water to allow us to conform to the restrictions without being aground.
If you sail or boat in Florida waters, please take a few minutes and express your opinion in this official survey. Here’s the invitation from the State of Florida:
This message is your invitation to contribute your thoughts on this subject through an online survey FWC has developed in response to feedback received at three prior public meetings this year. This survey has crucial explanatory language in the form of a video and audio messages (text options are available). To minimize the risk of confusion please listen to the messages in their entirety. Immediately following each video or audio message are questions specifically related to the information contained in that message. It is our desire to obtain the most widespread response possible from all parties with an interest in this subject. Thank you for your time and interest in completing this survey. The survey may be accessed at this site: