The note below was copied to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, and shows a letter written by Captain Arthur M. Richard, to the local sheriff’s department. The “Blackburn Bay” anchorage referred to in Captain Richard’s note lies between Venice and Sarasota, directly on the path of the Western Florida ICW.
If I may indulge in an editorial comment here, it’s a real shame that incidents of this type are still taking place in Florida waters. The 2009 Florida Anchoring Law has been on the books for some time now, and you would think that county sheriff’s departments would have gotten the word long ago!!!
Recently, I anchored my sailboat in Blackburn Bay. I was approached by a deputy sheriff (in a Sheriff’s Department boat), and politely informed that anchoring in Blackburn Bay is restricted to 48 hours. He said that the local residents did not like boats anchoring for longer periods. Please send me a copy of the County statue which authorizes such anchor limitation.
Are you aware that under state law, boaters who use their boats for navigation (even if only occasionally) will not have their anchoring restricted by a local city or county outside of permitted mooring fields. Cities and counties are expressly forbidden to “enact, continue in effect, or enforce any ordinance or local regulation … regulating the anchoring of vessels other than live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of mooring fields.”
Although local governments are allowed to regulate anchoring within the marked boundaries of properly permitted mooring fields, Blackburn Bay is not a permitted mooring field.
The following laws apply:
(FL law) 327.60 Local regulations; limitations)
(2) Nothing contained in the provisions of this section shall be construed to prohibit local governmental authorities from the enactment or enforcement of regulations which prohibit or restrict the mooring or anchoring of floating structures or live-aboard vessels within their jurisdictions or of any vessels within the marked boundaries of mooring fields permitted as provided in s. 327.40. However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of non-live-aboard vessels in navigation.
(from Chapter 2009-86, section 14)
(3) However, local governmental authorities are prohibited from regulating the anchoring outside of such mooring fields of vessels other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02.
Therefore, your deputy was in error when he informed me that I could not anchor in Blackburn Bay for more than 48 hours. I recommend that you make yourself and
your deputies aware of the Florida State Laws on anchoring by boats other than live-aboard and commercial vessels.
Arthur M. Richard