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The Salty Southeast
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Cruisers Helping Cruisers
 Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Regatta Pointe MarinaKey Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, 305-451-3438, www.keylimesailingclub.comThe Pilot House Marina is located on secluded Lake Largo just minutes from downtown Key Largo. This choice location borders on John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an underwater park famous among snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOME
On the Water GuidebooksBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLDockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key HarborRoyal Marsh Harbour Yacht ClubThe FROLI System, developed in Germany has made a big hit with the USA  recreation and leisure travel market. Nickle Atlantic will be at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show, October 8 - 12, in Booth

Archive For: KEYS-All News

  • All Florida Keys Cruising News

    PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

    Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Florida Keys cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NARROW YOUR SELECTION of FLK cruising news to those messages which pertain to a specific geographic sub-region, locate the RED, vertically stacked menu, on the right side of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages. Click on “Florida Keys.” A drop down menu will appear, with a blue background, Now, click on “FLK Regional Cruising News.” A sub-drop-down menu will now appear, listing 13 Florida Keys geographic sub-regions. Select your waters of interest, and after clicking on your choice, a list of messages will appear, confined to the sub-region you have picked!

    Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
  • Advocacy for Anchoring Rights in Florida

    Seven Seas Cruising Association has long been a strong advocate for boaters’ rights. Below are invitations to a Webinar and to Membership in the Association. Please remember that the struggle for anchoring rights is not exclusive to Florida; restrictions in one state will eventually affect other states.

    Hi Larry,
    Seven Seas Cruising Association has been very involved in protecting anchoring rights for all boaters, especially those in Florida. I thought your readers might be interested in the information below.

    Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has been representing both their members and boaters everywhere at recent Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) hearings about anchoring rights, laws, and regulations in Florida. After several years of even-handed work with landowners and boaters the approach of FWC in the latest hearings is of some concern.

    The “devil is in the details” of course. FWC seems to be under a great deal of pressure to allow local regulation of anchoring in Florida. In particular, stand-off distances from mooring fields, from marine infrastructure (ramps, marinas, and other publicly accessible facilities), and private waterfront property were discussed. In addition, time limits on anchoring were proposed.

    Phil Johnson is chair of SSCA’s Concerned Cruisers Committee. He was named SSCA’s 2014 Member of the Year for his efforts on lobbying on behalf of Cruisers’ Rights. As Chair of the Concerned Cruisers’ Committee, Phil’s tireless advocacy of cruisers’ rights from New England to Florida and beyond has been of great benefit to all boaters. SSCA salutes his thoughtful, professional and successful approach, whether the issue is anchoring rights, over-aggressive marine policing, or mooring field management.

    Whether you reside in Florida, pass through Florida on your boat or are just concerned about boaters rights in general, you’ll be interested in the upcoming Seven Seas U webinar, “A Florida Anchoring Update” presented by Phil Johnson on January 6. Phil will update you on the very latest attempts for local Florida communities to restrict your ability to drop the hook in a safe anchorage. Everyone needs to be informed and involved to ensure our anchoring rights are preserved.

    The webinar will help you understand why this issue is important to all boaters and will let you know just what the Florida FWC plans. You’ll also hear the results of the August-September Anchoring Survey and their implications.
    The webinar is free to SSCA members and just $10 for non-members. Go to www.SevenSeasU.com for more informaiton and to register.

    If you are a Florida resident please let your legislators know how you feel about freedom to anchor. If you are a cruiser, sail or power, your membership in SSCA supports defense of your anchoring rights (among many other things) in Florida and elsewhere. Go to www.ssca.org to find out more.

    Thank you,
    Barbara Theisen
    Editor
    Seven Seas Cruising Association

  • Sunken Vessel, Boca Chica Channel, Key West, FL, 12/4/2014

    This sunken vessel is on the north side of the Boca Chica channel near green Marker #3.

    FLORIDA – BAHIA HONDA KEY TO SUGARLOAF KEY – BOCA CHICA CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
    The Coast Guard received a report of a 30-40ft P/C with 3-4 feet sticking out of the water in approximate position 24-33.059N/081-43.456W in the vicinity of Boca Chica Channel DBN 3 (LLNR 14515). Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11445 LNM: 48/14

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Boca Chica Key

  • REMINDER: Comments and Background Info from BoatUS on Anchoring Survey

    Reminder, if you have not yet participated in the online anchoring survey, please do so before the 12/7/14 deadline.

    SSECN sent out this Anchoring Survey via an email Alert as soon as it was received. This posting is to publish comments we have received about the survey. Because a wide response is in the best interest of boaters, we ask that you not be deterred from completing the survey by negative comments about the language and format of the survey. This should be one of those “just do it!” moments. And the survey is pertinent to all cruising boaters, not just Florida residents. If you did not receive our Alert, the link to the survey is below.

    And this admonition from BoatUS:

    boatusgov

    November 25, 2014

    Dear BoatU.S. Member,

    Florida is once again considering a change in their anchoring regulations. Whether you live in Florida or just want to cruise there someday, now is a critical time to share your views on this topic with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    Please click on the link below to take FWC’s survey. We recognize it’s long, but we’d like to make sure that active, responsible cruising boaters help the state understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to anchoring laws in the Sunshine State:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AnchoringSurvey

    Background:
    In 2009, the Florida Legislature enacted legislation that stopped local governments from placing inconsistent and often onerous restrictions on anchoring. During the 2014 Florida legislative session there were strong attempts to repeal part of this prohibition. While these changes were defeated, there will likely be new legislation introduced in the spring that would grant local governments the authority to regulate anchoring in their municipalities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now asking for comments on possible changes to Florida’s anchoring laws. It is important to take the FWC survey to register your opinions on anchoring restrictions to help influence what could be allowed by the state legislature.

    For additional information on anchoring in Florida please visit:

    http://myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring/
    http://www.boatus.com/gov/floridaanchoring.asp

    Thanks for helping us get some valuable information to the FWC.

    And thank you for being a BoatU.S. Member!

    Margaret Podlich
    President
    GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
    703-461-2878 x8363
    BoatUS.com/Gov

    fwc-banner
    Hello,
    You have been identified as an interested party on potential anchoring regulations on Florida waters. 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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AnchoringSurvey

    This survey will be active from 4:00 P.M. EST November 21, 2014, through 11:59 P.M. EST December 7, 2014.

  • Questions about Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West

    Skipper Petra posed the questions below for a contributor who had commented on the Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=144908) which lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina. SSECN is happy to facilitate the following exchange. Skipper Petra would welcome your input as well.

    Hi James,
    Are there any docks, balls or cheap marinas from Big Coppitt Key to the Boot Key Ball area? I am going to be working in a music duet in that area while also a novice captain of a 38′ Morgan w 3.6 draw. I would want to avoid that North wind chop and also rely on a bicycle due to knee problems. My more secure alternative now only seems to be the Boot Key Balling area. Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
    Charly Petra

    Hi Larry,
    I have been in the Key West Garrison Bight Mooring Field for seven years. There is a 3′ wave during heavy North Eastern Cold Fronts that last two to three days and then it’s flat. These fronts are not a problem for me since I am in a 45′ Gulfstar S/V and should not be a problem for a 38′ Morgan. If there is a wind generator on board he will get plenty free electric that keeps my refrigeration and Satellite Dome humming. The cost is $323/M free water, parking, bath house, and parking for dinghy and car. The cheapest Marina I believe is on Stock Island and I am not sure of it’s name. It is next to 3D boat yard. I would guess the docking fee around a $1,000 a month. The facilities are brand new and it is nice with Restaurant and bar. In Key West it would cost closer to $2,000 + per month. There are some spots to anchor free that his draft would handle. One is in Key West by Christmas Tree Island which is a zoo, west of Fleming Key in KW., another would be Cow Key Channel which is between Key West and Stock Island. There could be some spots near Boca Chico Island north of the air base. You would need to search these out, but I have heard of some spots near there.
    Jim

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key West City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West City Marina

  • Holiday Events, Pilot House Marina, Key Largo, FL

    keylargo

     

     

     

     

    12/5/2014 10th Annual Holiday Festival

    12/13/2014 Annual Key Largo Boat Parade

    12/20/2014 Pops in the Park-Winter Wonders

    12/31/2014 Annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Blackwater Sound

     

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Pilot House Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pilot House Marina

  • Lost Stove at Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors’ Center, AICW Statute Mile 1106

    Skipper Perez is looking for a lost stove. Can you help? Boca Chita Key is a smallish island surrounded by the waters of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami. It is part of Biscayne Bay National Park, and the Park Service maintains a small harbor and “marina” here. For more details and nice photos from Boca Chita Key, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=136873

    I love BOCA chita, my husband left the campchef stove , if someone found it and wants to return it please e mail 305-740-9522 ext 158
    Carmen Perez

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Boca Chita Key Marina and Visitors’ Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Boca Chita Key Marina

  • More Good Words for Garrison Bight/Fleming Key Mooring Field, Key West

    The Garrison Bight/Fleming Key mooring field lies along a broad swath of water between Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park, north-northwest of Garrison Bight and is managed by Key West City Marina.

    An affordable alternative to a marina in Key West or Stock Island are the mooring balls at Garrison Bight Marina in Key West. The overnight rate is in the neighborhood of $20, I’ve ball parked that because I always go for the monthly rate $323. and change. You need a dinghy for a 10 to 15 minute ride in to the dinghy docks. Included in the fee is a: bathhouse with laundry facilities, showers and restrooms, parking space for car and dinghy. There are bicycle racks, bikes not included in fact it is a dangerous place to leave a bike cabled and locked. Best to sleep next to bike I have had four stolen. It is a mile walk into town and the bus station and stop is two buildings to the north.
    James T. Holtzinger

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Key West – Fleming Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Key West City Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Key West City Marina

  • Monroe County to Expand Pumpout Services, Boot Key, Marathon, FL

    This expansion of pumpout services in the Marathon area is certainly good news for cruisers. Our thanks to Chuck Baier and Susan Landry for forwarding this article by William Axford in KeyInfoNet.com.

    The city of Marathon is looking to expand wastewater services for boats by providing Monroe County with a location to receive vessel waste for the Middle Keys.
    Should a location be provided, the city will most likely be working with Key Colony-based company Pumpout USA, which is contracted with the county to remove vessel waste.
    Chuck and Susan

    The Great Book Of Anchorages <http://www.tgboa.com/>
    Navigation Notices <http://www.marinalife.com/navigationUpdates/index.cfm>
    Our Blogs
    Trawler Beach House <http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/>
    Voyages of Sea Trek <http://sea-trek.blogspot.com/>

    Marathon to expand wastewater services for vessels
    Boaters are not charged for pumpouts
    BY WILLIAM AXFORD
    waxford@keynoter.comSeptember 24, 2014
    The city of Marathon is looking to expand wastewater services for boats by providing Monroe County with a location to receive vessel waste for the Middle Keys.
    Should a location be provided, the city will most likely be working with Key Colony-based company Pumpout USA, which is contracted with the county to remove vessel waste.
    At Tuesday’s city council meeting at the Marathon Government Center, council members were expected to approve a resolution amending the city’s wastewater utility fees and rates, implementing a $112 a month fee to dispose of waste at a city facility.
    There is also a 14-cent-per-gallon surcharge.

    “The city is trying to make sure we have a way for vessels to remove their untreated sewage within the areas of the Keys,” said Zully Hemeyer, head of the city’s utility department. “We do not want to discharge waste near shore waters because of the potential health risks. This is just another way we can ensure the water is kept clean.”

    For the full article, go to:
    http://www.keysnet.com/2014/09/24/498899_marathon-to-expand-wastewater.html?sp=/99/106/&rh=1

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marathon, Fl

  • Faro Blanco Resort to Re-Open, Marathon, FL

    Our thanks to Chuck and Susan for sending this notice of the re-opening of Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club. Open the link below for more on this beautiful resort.

    For those of you familiar with Marathon in the Florida Keys, you know that Faro Blanco Resort has been closed for a very long time. It has been announced that the all new Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club is scheduled to open in December. http://www.faroblancoresort.com/marina
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

    The Great Book Of Anchorages
    Navigation Notices <http://www.marinalife.com/navigationUpdates/index.cfm>
    Our Blogs
    Trawler Beach House <http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/>
    Voyages of Sea Trek <http://sea-trek.blogspot.com/>

  • Seventh District False Flare Cases are Costly Events

    As detailed in this article by Adam Linhardt in KeysNews.com, this is a real No-Brainer, and surely no SSECN reader would ever be guilty of abusing the use of emergency flares. However, it is a good topic of conversation to have in public places where some of the less-informed might overhear!

    False flare cases plague Coast Guard
    BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
    alinhardt@keysnews.com

    Misuse of emergency marine flares is giving the Coast Guard headaches and costing taxpayers a ton of money, the agency said last week.
    Since June, the Coast Guard Seventh District headquartered in Miami, of which Sector Key West is included, reported more than 60 flare sightings. Watchstanders then launched air and boat crews in every instance at a total cost of more than $5 million, according to the Coast Guard.
    Each search typically costs between $60,000 and $90,000 when fuel and manpower needs are totaled, according to data released by the Coast Guard.
    “Shooting a flare in a nondistress situation is no different than dialing 911 and hanging up,” said Capt. Todd Coggeshall, chief of response management for the Coast Guard Seventh District.

    To read more, go to:

    http://keysnews.com/node/57961

  • Port of Entry Facility in Marathon, FL to be Completed by Spring of 2015

    SSECN first reported this story in January of 2014 (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=133372) at which time the facility was to have completed by December of this year. Our thanks to Chuck Baier of Beach House Publications for sending this article by William Axford from KeysInfoNet.com.

    New Customs entryway in Marathon is getting closer
    By WILLIAM AXFORD
    Renovations to bring a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office to Florida Keys Marathon Airport are set to start in the next 30 to 60 days.
    The construction at the airfield’s terminal is the first step in having a Customs agent at the airport and making it an official port of entry for travelers entering the U.S. in the Keys. It could open in spring 2015.
    For the complete story go to:
    http://www.keysnet.com/2014/09/06/498580/new-customs-entryway-in-marathon.html?sp=/99/106/

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marathon

  • Report from Anchoring Regulations Forum in Vero Beach, FL

    This report is from the first of two public forums scheduled for September, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143945.
    Our thanks for Skipper Waln for this excellent report.

    Florida Anchoring Meeting, Vero Beach (And the Beat Goes On)
    Tonight I attended the FWC hosted Vero Beach meeting on regulatory Concepts for anchoring in Florida. The meeting was well run by Maj Moore of the FWC who was supported by Capt Klein and a staff of non-uniformed personnel. Seven regulatory Concepts were presented with repeated requests throughout the meeting for the attendees to put their thoughts in the comments sections of the questionnaires provided. A similar meeting is scheduled for Bradenton tomorrow evening. A regulated open mike session allowed time for cruisers, other boaters, home owners, members of the boating industry and locality representatives to speak.

    The core purpose of the meeting was to provide the FWC access to a broader thought base when developing regulatory alternatives to respond to legislative attempts to return to locally controlled anchoring. While the FWC Anchoring Pilot Program was extended for three years in the last session, there is no reason to believe it won’t come up again this next session.

    The elephant in the room issue is a regulatory concept allowing anchoring keep out zones in the vicinity of waterfront residences. The initial language proposes expansive keep out zones which would largely eliminate anchoring in Florida’s most populous and/or geographically constrained waterfront regions — a boon to marina owners and mooring field operators — and quite possibly unconstitutional if not simply illegal.

    As is usual in cases like this, the public comment was all over the map. About 75% of the comments were on topic, the rest were either meandering or sales pitches or diatribes of some sort. Some comments were more appropriate to a legislative comment environment. Of the on topic comments, about half were polite rants [actually this was a very polite crowd, considering the potential downside of both legislation and the FWC keep out concept] the other half contained a few useful ideas and raised issues that will likely require a court challenge to ever see settled. Several people spoke in favor of uniformity in application — but several worried one size may not fit all considering Florida’s geographic variety.

    About 100 people attended. Roughly a third spoke. A couple of people on both sides of the issue behaved badly, but they failed to ignite audience passion or participation.

    I agree with Major Moore. It is better to have this dialog now and concepts in hand when the legislative juggernaut starts up again than it is to respond to proposed legislation with “duh.”

    All seven concepts can be found at. http://myfwc.com/media/2847550/anchoring-public-meeting.pdf

    Chris Waln

  • Damaged Sections on Seven Mile Bridge, Statute Mile 1198, 9/4/2014

    Seven Mile Bridge crosses both Knight Key Channel (19ft fixed clearance) and Moser Channel (65ft fixed clearance) between Marathon (Vaca Key) and Little Duck Key. The damaged sections appear to be nearer the southern end of the bridge near Money Key.

    FLORIDA – FLORIDA KEYS – SOMBRERO KEY TO SAND KEY: Hazard to Navigation (Seven Mile Bridge Deterioration)
    The Coast Guard received a report of the historic Seven Mile Bridge, has experienced a collapse of (5) sections of cantilever overhang on the ocean side of the bridge in the area of MM 41.8 Overseas Highway (Position: N 24 41 368 – W 081 12 259) of the 5 sections that collapsed, (4) are hanging on the side of the bridge and one has fallen into the water and appears to be lying on the bottom in approximately 4ft of water. Mariners are advised to avoid the area and not cross under the structure. Chart 11442 LNM: 35/14

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Bridge Directory Listing For Seven Mile Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Seven Mile Bridge

  • Vessel Insurance in Florida

    One of our readers is looking for recommendations for an insurer for a 40ft trimaran while in Florida. While SSECN is happy to pass along this request for advice, we cannot serve as a broker or even a kiosk for various insurers. Please offer Skipper Laletin your suggestions via a personal phone call to the number listed below or by email at chrislaletin@mac.com. Thanks!

    I recently relocated my 40 foot trimaran from the Chesapeake to Florida for this winter. Enough freezing snow last year and I don’t want my baby freezing again. Progressive Insurance will not renew my policy in Florida since i’m over 35 feet. Boat US wants 10% of my policy value as a premium. Any suggestions on an insurance company that will insure a 40 foot trimaran. I have never made a claim and never used my Boat US towing. JAZ is presently stored on the hard in Saint Augustine. I can be contacted directly by text or voice call at 808 seven seven two 2133.
    Chris Laletin

  • High Praise for Marathon Marina and Boat Yard and Staff, Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL

    Marathon Marina and Boat Yard lines the northern banks of the western Boot Key Harbor approach channel, west of the now permanently open bascule bridge.

    Great Marina! We have pulled our trailerable Macgregor Sailboat from Atlanta to the Marathon Marina for the past 3 years. Each visit is a great one. The staff takes such good care of us, even though we are not a mega sailboat. Wifi works well throughout the marina. There is a great restaurant with wonderful food right on the premises. They have updated their pool to a lovely saltwater pool (no more blood shot eyes from chlorine). There are grocery stores, a West Marine, and plenty more restaurants, well within driving distance or a $5 taxi drive.
    On our last visit we needed a haul out due to engine trouble. The crew operating the machinery were very professional. They took such great care of our boat and the rate was reasonable.
    On our first visit to the Marina, my wife was getting ready to toss me a stern line when she fell into the cockpit of our boat and broke her foot. Judy from the office was such a help. She instructed us where we could get medical attention and offered to help in any way we needed.
    For those who wish to attend a worship service on Sundays, there is a great church just down the road called Marathon Baptist Church. The Pastor is very caring and the congregation of locals are welcoming and warm hearted.
    We continue to return knowing we will enjoy every day of our visit to this wonderful marina.

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marathon Marina and Boat Yard

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marathon Marina and Boat Yard

  • Buttonwood Sound Mooring Field Scuttled, Key Largo, Inside Route Mile 1143

    Sunset Cove is one of the most popular anchorages in the northern Florid Keys. This haven is located on the waters of southeastern Buttonwood Sound, in charted Sunset Cove, near statute Mile 1143 off the Florida Keys Inside Route. Opposition to the mooring field in Sunset Cove has been voiced since the mooring field was first proposed in 2012. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=95529


    Mooring field for Buttonwood Sound in Key Largo now looks to be off the table

    By KEVIN WADLOW
    kwadlow@keynoter.comAugust 6, 2014
    Concerns from on-shore residents seem to have scuttled Monroe County’s preferred site for a new Upper Keys mooring field.
    “There is no Plan B,” County Mayor Sylvia Murphy said Tuesday.
    In March, county commissioners named Key Largo’s Buttonwood Sound, off the bayside at mile marker 99, as the anchorage most suitable to accommodate a new mooring field for liveaboard residents and cruising visitors.
    But two nearby businesses that had expressed interest in serving as a land base for the Buttonwood Sound mooring field have now decided against it.

    For the full article, go to http://www.keysnet.com/2014/08/06/498101/mooring-field-for-buttonwood-sound.html?sp=/99/106/

    Click Here To View the Florida Keys Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Sunset Cove

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Cove Anchorage

  • Comments on the Report from the FWC Meeting in Tallahassee, July 22-23, 2014

    These discussions and future meetings are extremely important to cruisers who prefer anchoring to docking. Please note that the mention of derelicts, a major cause of the new regulations and a real issue for coastal communities, is not found in this report. The newly established mooring field program and other anchoring restrictions, intended to solve the derelict problem, have not worked in most cases and have, in fact, severely limited the rights of legitimate boaters.

    For an interesting Public Opinion Survey taken by the FWC, go to page 157 of a 220 page report at http://myfwc.com/media/2704721/FindingsRecommendations.pdf

    NOTE: For comments from a landowner/boat owner, see Michael Bodin’s remarks below. His contribution is lengthy, but well worth reading.

    FWC holds public meeting to discuss the future of anchoring regulations in Florida
    In response to increasing concerns between local governments and boaters related to anchoring in state waters within local jurisdictions, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) conducted a public meeting in Tallahassee on July 21-22, 2014, to discuss anchoring issues and potential ways forward to resolve the conflicts.
    Attended by interested persons representing the boating industry, resident and visiting boaters and local and state governments, the two-day meeting focused on complex issues.
    “Protecting the rights of people to use the waters kept in public trust by the state is very important,” said Lt. Colonel Jack Daugherty. “We all want to keep Florida a boater-friendly state and maintain that great part of the Florida lifestyle and economy. On the other hand, local governments have the duty to respond to the needs of their citizens. We are committed to a robust dialogue and to seeking balance between boating interests and local governments in an effort to identify points of consensus and to help resolve some of these issues.”
    This year, Florida’s Legislature extended the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program, which was authorized in 2009 to look for solutions to these problems, for three additional years in order to allow for more time to test various anchoring strategies and to engage stakeholders in exploring possible legislative solutions. During the public meeting, a framework for potential future anchoring legislation was discussed along with several draft regulatory provisions based on components of the pilot program, each aimed at solving or minimizing specific anchoring challenges.

    FWC staff will draft language based on comments from this meeting, distribute that language to interested parties and hold at least two additional public meetings to further refine a possible legislative proposal. Meeting notices and reference documents will be posted by mid-August on FWC’s Anchoring and Mooring web page, found at http://myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring

    ********

    Those promoting anti-anchoring laws often use the argument that it is about eliminating derelict boats, but the reality is very different. For example, many of the laws exempt local boats that are stored–the vast majority of so-called “derelicts.” In some cases the laws have been pushed by local influential home owners who don’t want people anchored near their property, and in other cases they are pushed by marina and mooring field owners who want to force people to pay for using public waterways. The arguments about safety and derelicts are a smokescreen. Note that boats have broken loose from so-called safe moorings in places like St. Augustine, and yet users must sign an agreement that absolves the city of all liability.
    John Kettlewell

    I’m still not buying the party line from the real estate people that this is about derelict boats. The problem is that waterfront property owners pay a lot for that property, and believe with all their little black hearts, that those high prices mean they should control everything they see from that high priced property. The bigger problem is that people who can afford to buy high priced property, can also afford to buy high priced politicians, through high priced campaign contributions. Another problem is that it doesn’t matter how many times they get these laws or regulations brought up unsuccessfully, or lose, they can get as many bites at the apple as they can afford. And, for a lot of these people, that is a lot of bites.
    In a way we’re lucky that they didn’t just decide that they wanted boats banned, because the same legislators that are carrying the water for them on anchoring restrictions, would be more than available to do it for banning boats, too.
    R. Holiman

  • Possible Threat to Manatees by Protected Status Change

    This article/opinion by Katie Tripp of KeysInfoNet.com highlights how this ruling to reduce their protected status might affect manatees on the East Coast and the Florida Keys.

    Odds already stacked against manatees in federal study for possible downlisting
    By KATIE TRIPP

    In response to a lawsuit by the Pacific Legal Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act may be warranted, and the agency is embarking on a five-year status review as part of the process.
    Let me be very clear about the seriousness of the situation.
    From 2010 to 2013, 2,441 manatees died in Florida waters, which is 48 percent of the highest minimum population ever recorded (5,077 in 2010), but we’d have to wait until after 2015 to be able to include this data. However, ignoring this information would also constitute a substantial and unacceptable bias.

    For the complete story, go to:
    http://www.keysnet.com/2014/07/23/497910/odds-already-stacked-against-manatees.html?sp=/99/116/

    manatee

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