In 2009, the Florida Legislature enacted a temporary pilot program to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of
non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields. The City of St. Augustine, the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Sarasota, the City of Stuart in conjunction with Martin County, and the cities of Key West and Marathon in conjunction with Monroe County were granted temporary authority to regulate mooring in their jurisdictional waters through local ordinance. All ordinances enacted under authority of the pilot program will expire on July 1, 2014 and will be inoperative and unenforceable thereafter, unless reenacted by the Legislature.
You, your partners, and interested members have the opportunity to provide valuable input on the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking help from cruising boaters, local boaters, and residents in evaluating the effectiveness and fairness of the temporary ordinances and the pilot program.
FWC has created and posted a survey at http://www.myfwc.com/anchoringsurvey which should take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The Survey will be available from September 18th until October 7th, 2013. Your prompt participation would be appreciated.
There is also a survey link on our Boating and Waterways webpage at http://www.myfwc.com/boating/.
Thank you for your time and effort.
Captain Tom Shipp,
FWC / DLE / Boating and Waterways
It is important for cruising boaters to answer in order to counteract the claims of those pushing this anti-anchoring law. Basically, the bottom line is the law promotes the opposite of one of its stated purposes–to promote access to the waters of the state. Obviously, if you put in moorings nobody can anchor in those waters, so unless you want to pay to play and like using a mooring, you’re out of luck. And the moorings prevent anchoring 24/7, year-round, whether or not there is someone on them. I have personally been anchored in the tiny portion of water still available in Marathon and observed the majority of mooring balls empty, while the anchorage was jam-packed full. Sure, in high season the moorings are popular, but year-round they prevent anchoring in most of the harbor. It is very simple, this law was pushed through for one purpose–to chase away anchored boats, and it has done so.