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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: KEYS-All News

  • Announcement: All Florida Keys Cruising News


    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
  • AGLCA Fights for Boaters’ Rights

    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association has joined other boating organizations is requesting donations toward lobbying for boaters’ rights in Florida. See for more information.

    As a result of the recent survey on anti-boating legislation, AGLCA is beginning to accept donations along with other boating organizations to hire a lobbyist to represent our interests at the Florida Legislature. Read More!

    This link can be used to make your contribution to the Boaters’ Rights Lobbyist Fund. When making your contribution, consider how much money you save in slip fees by having the ability to anchor. If you would like more information on this issue, you can view my recent forum posting.

    Thank you for joining AGLCA in this lobbying effort. I will keep you posted as we move forward with this issue.
    Kimberly Russo
    America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association 

  • Florida’s Anchoring Program Update MTOA

    Our thanks to Mike Bodin of Marine Trawler Owners Association for this updated perspective on Florida’s anchoring restrictions. See Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission Proposed Anchoring Program. See link below to donate to these lobbying efforts.

    Florida’s Anchoring Program Update MTOA Read More

    Many wealthy Florida waterside residents, condominium units and cities complained to their local governments about anchoring boats spoiling their water views. Federal government owns the land under waterways and relinquished control to Florida state. This anti anchoring consortium contacted their state representatives to change the law to prohibit anchoring in front of their waterside property.
    Florida enacted a study called Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The study is to be completed July 1, 2017. Final recommendations to be submitted by January 1, 2018. The multi-million dollar 244-page report is available for review. “Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Final Report of Findings and Recommendations 12/21/2016” in Adobe PDF. During last year’s legislative season the report was accepted as submitted. 2017 is the final year. Florida legislature has stated they will accept the state recommendations for state law. The report has several anti-anchoring provisions that must be changed to better represent the needs of the boating community. One glaring item of concern; If enacted, county governments can easily contact the state for an exemption to control anchoring without any input from the boating community. If granted, the county has state authorization to enact laws preventing anchoring as well as dinghy docking. The unintended consequence of the legislation would be the precedent it would set for other states along the eastern seaboard to follow banning anchoring.
    A large “AHOY MATE” call is now being made to fellow boaters. As a boating community, we can be complacent, stand back and complain when our previously used anchoring areas are no longer available or put on some heavy weather gear and ride the storm out while still keeping the heading. This will ensure anchorage availability for us and future availability for our children. How is this accomplished? As any boater knows you must have the right gear. 1) We need a knowledgeable professional lobbyist. 2) Money is required for this lobbyist: $35k-$50k. 3) How do we get the funds? The boating community unites and individual boaters donate as they can. Today combined funds from members of American Great Loop Cruising Association and Marine Trawler Owners Association, are starting the donations for a pro-anchoring lobbyist. Additional funds are required to continue a pro- anchoring strategy to roll back anti-anchoring language in the proposed bill. Your support is requested. Marine Trawlers Owners Association has set up the following site for your donations: Go to, highlight tab “FL Anchoring Rights Fund”
    We need your financial support. The following is a time progression review demonstrating the need for a professional lobbyists and active boaters to win the pro-anchoring debate.
    Most all bills for the 2017 Session are still in the Bill Drafting Office where they are not visible to the public (until they are filed).
    The Anchoring Bill is expected to be brought to floor early due to last year’s defeat. They don’t think the pro-anchoring community will have the necessary time to collect funds and organize credible support. Anti-anchoring faction has strength through numbers and is bringing momentum from last year to this year’s activity. They are counting on the lack of any pro-anchoring support for 2017 as was last year.
    Next Committee Week starts Monday Jan 23. Committees will begin meeting again then bills will continue to appear through start of session – March 7. Amendments to bills can be filed at any time.
    2016 REVIEW
    Yeas, represent the Anti- Anchoring votes by the committees and legislature:
    1/26/16 House Committee Vote yeas 12 Nays 0
    2/25/16 House Committee Vote yeas 15 Nays 1 Note: Extreme spread
    3/04/16 House Vote yeas 105 Nays 12
    3/0716 Senate Vote yeas 36 Nays 2
    3/09/16 Signed by officers and presented to Governor HJ 980
    3/24/16 Approved by Florida Governor (chapter 2016-96)
    7/01/16 Effective Date for law banning anchoring by county designation.
    Once it was seen there was no opposition from pro- anchoring groups, anti-anchoring legislation emerged and gathered enough momentum to easily pass. Do not underestimate the extent to which that momentum is perceived to still exist in Tallahassee. It was quite evident at the Senate Environment Committee (the Committee that originated the bill we defeated 2 years ago). Notice that this Committee chose to place the topic on its agenda early in the process. The cruising/anchoring interests have been unrepresented for a while and that has been noticed.
    Note: The boating community was complacent. No lobbyists, No backing of the boating community
    2015 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    2014-2012 REVIEW
    No set back or anchoring restrictions—Active Lobbyists, Active boating community
    It can plainly be observed if boaters are again complacent in 2017, the 2016 results can be expected. We salute such groups as American Great Loop Cruising Association, Seven Seas Cruising Association and Marine Trawler Owners Association for their active and financial support. These great organizations have started the process. Now your financial support is needed to continue.
    Donation site highlight tab “FL Anchoring Rights Fund”
    Mike Bodin MTOA Public Advocate
  • Seven Seas Cruising Association Asks Your Support to Defeat Florida’s Anti-Anchoring Legislation

    The Concerned Cruisers’ Committee (CCC) of Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has, for many years, supported the rights of cruisers to navigate, anchor and enjoy the “Seven Seas” both in the U.S. and abroad. We have had recent success in Annapolis and in Georgia, and we are engaged in South Carolina, Washington and California.Read More!

    And this from MTOA Public Advocate, Mike Bodin:

    As you know Florida’s legislative session has started. The Environmental Preservation and Conservation committee heard the first presentation by The Fish and Wildlife Conversation commission (FWC) on the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program. [See] Anti-anchoring representatives were present and offered presentations.

    The window is closing for us to be effective with ongoing legislation. Capitol Access team did a great job representing our anchoring concerns in 2014,and 15. Without professional representation I fear legislation will be made and passed into law prohibiting anchoring by county designation with state approval. This Florida law can be the basis of others to follow along the ICW corridor. Like cancer, a small start than it spreads and very difficult to stop.

    Time is against us to raise monies for a professions lobbyist. MTOA donation survey results are very promising, AGLCA is now surveying their members and results will be available shortly.

    SSCA CCC has lead the boating community in the past. Anti-Anchoring is a pain in every boater’s thoughts. Future state laws to prevent anchoring along the ICW surely can be compared to the spread of cancer. We must unite and knock it out before it gains traction.

    Enclosed is a boaters rights donation form to your GoFunfMe site. Due to the tremendous time limitation now in place we request SSCA blast email the form to your membership. Within a couple of days, we will have a good idea if a lobbyist can be added to our anti-anchoring efforts.

    Thank you for consideration and hopefully participation.

    Mike Bodin

    And from America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association:

    Boater’s Rights Interest Survey
    Florida’s 1,000-mile intracoastal waterway has often been called the boaters’ highway. Wealthy waterside residents in conjunction with several counties want to enact anti-anchoring laws. Last year Florida’s governor signed into law temporary nighttime anti-anchoring restrictions in several counties. Boaters must unite to stop the spread of anti-anchoring legislation.


    CLICK HERE for more information on Seven Seas Cruising Association


  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Management Area System is 75 Years Old

    FWC celebrates 75 years of wildlife management area conservation success Read More

    In 2017, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the wildlife management area system, one of the state’s greatest natural treasures. The FWC oversees this statewide network of remote and scenic lands, managing them for conservation and recreation. To celebrate the milestone and help people discover the opportunities these public lands offer, the FWC is hosting free events throughout the year.

    “Florida has one of the largest systems of public lands in the country at nearly 6 million acres, and these lands are the best of the best of what wild Florida has to offer,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “These natural communities span a variety of habitats from longleaf pine uplands and pine flatwoods to the hardwood hammocks and sawgrass savannas of the Everglades. Not only are these areas beautiful, they are managed to provide habitat for many species of wildlife and access for people to enjoy hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and more.”

    Florida’s first WMA, Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, was established in late 1941 in Charlotte and Lee counties. By the 1960s, there were 28 WMAs. Today, the FWC is the lead manager or landowner of over 1.4 million acres, and works in partnership with other governmental or private landowners on another 4.5 million acres. These healthy habitats are essential to Florida wildlife – both common and imperiled species. The FWC uses its scientific expertise and a comprehensive ecological approach to manage a variety of wildlife while balancing public access to these wild lands.

    WMAs provide many recreational opportunities including paddling, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, photography, wildlife viewing, and target shooting at areas with a public shooting range. They also offer a wide range of hunting opportunities including special hunts for families and people with disabilities. Throughout 2017, the FWC will host a variety of events to celebrate Florida’s WMAs. Events include a statewide geocaching challenge, volunteer work days, a photo contest, guided hikes, fun opportunities to explore WMAs, and citizen science bioblitzes where members of the public help document wildlife species at WMAs.

    To learn more about upcoming events or to find a WMA near you, visit Share your visits to Florida WMAs on social media by using #WMAzing.

  • Advice on Navigating near Everglades National Park

    This excellent advice comes from our friends at AGLCA’s Forum. The park discussed is Everglades National Park Service at Cape Sable on the southern most tip of West Florida.

    One thing you need to know about cruising within the Park boundaries, if you run aground, you are required to contact the Park ranger so he can come out and inspect any damage to the sea grass. You are responsible for the cost of re-planting any sea grass that is damaged. (Not cheap) Because of this when I run to the middle keys, I follow the park boundary, but stay outside of the park.
    Irwin Wilensky
    mv SunRaye

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Everglades National Park

  • Sunken Vessel in Hawk Channel, northeast of Key West, 12/28/2016

    This sunken sailing vessel in Hawk Channel is 2 nautical miles south of Saddlebunch Keys northeast of Key West.

    A temporary WR Lighted Buoy with Fl Q G characteristics has been established to mark a sunken S/V with its mast protruding approximately 6-8ft out of the water in approximate position 24-33.598N/081-35.348W approximately 2NM south of Sugarloaf. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
    Chart 11445 LNM 52/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position in Hawk Channel

  • Great List of 2017 Florida Keys Events and Festivals

    This excellent list of events and links comes from the Gilmer Mirror of Northeast Texas (!). This is a posting to keep by your date book!

    Florida Keys Keys & Key West Festivals and Events Span 2017

    FLORIDA KEYS — Hardly a weekend goes by in the Florida Keys & Key West without a special event or festival taking place. Providing entertainment and enjoyment for visitors virtually throughout the year, the events celebrate everything from the Keys’ colorful history, artistic culture and quirky ambiance to underwater wonders, outdoor adventure and tasty cuisine.

    Read more: The Gilmer Mirror – Florida Keys Key West Festivals and Events Span 2017

  • Seeking Deep Water Channel Marina off Northern Hawk Channel

    If you have local knowledge of marina entrance channels that can accommodate a 5’5″ draft, let us hear from you. August is asking about Hawk Channel from Biscayne Bay to Marathon.

    Our sailboat draws 5’5″. I can’t seem to find ANY marinas on the ocean side We can get in about halfway on the trip. Any suggestions?
    August Trometer,  email:



  • Excellent Discussions on Sojourner’s Permit

    These excellent and informative discussions on Florida’s Sojourner’s Permit are from our good friends on AGLCA’s Forum. Thanks to them all! If you have more to add, let us hear from you!

    The Sojourner’s Permit is a cruiser Florida Vessel Registration and Decal. Read More

    It is an annual registration, that cost $83.75 if you purchase it in a Florida County that does not add a County Tax on top of Florida’s state fee, such as Taylor County (where Steinhatchee is located on the upper Gulf coast). It can be obtained by mail. The boat’s temporary location should be provided initially, along with your regular mailing address. We travel to Florida most years to various locations but never know exactly how long we’ll be there. So, we find it easy to renew annually (on the first listed owner’s birthday). Since ours is a US Coast Guard Documented Vessel this allows us to show a Florida state small decal registration sticker on our window with other permits, such as renewed lock & mooring passes for Canada. No regular state number imprint, registration, or taxes are required. It makes life simple.
    Sandra Kay & Nelson

    Mike writes: “I am not a lawyer, but I slept in the parking lot of a Holiday Express once, I think.”
    Which is exactly what Officer Obie may think of your arguments. We can play both sides of this for months, it’s a fun Looper topic.
    The bottom line is that if you get stopped by Officer Obie on the water, there is a better than even chance (*) he’ll give you some of Florida’s finest parchment with his signature on it. Question is, are you up for a visit from Obie and a possibility of a discussion with a Judge, or do you want to buy the sticker and put it in the window and not need to worry about it.
    Please note that the charge for the permit is based on boat length, it’s not a fixed fee. Sandra posted their charges, mine for a 45′ was ~$120.
    (*) Florida passed a law about random boat stops, now days if you get stopped they most likely have a reason.
    Foster & Susan

    Ben, you are absolutely correct. There is nothing in Florida law called a sojourner’s or temporary permit. Look at the form everybody references. The title is “Application to Register Non-Titled Vessels” Nowhere do you see “sojourner” or “temporary”. Just because some webmaster in Sarasota put the words on that website it doesn’t make it so.
    There is nothing temporary about this registration. When it expires you will get a notice to renew it. Of course if you are out of Florida by then you can just let it expire. I have been renewing mine for 10 years.
    If you need more proof search this website for “sojourn” or any form of it:
    You will get no hits; zero, nada.
    My guess is that some looper made up the term years ago and it has been passed down through the years as looper lore. In some county tax offices they have heard the term used by loopers so many times that they now respond with the correct form instead of saying, “What are you talking about?”
    When you go in the tax office don’t ask for a sojourner’s permit. Say, “I am going to have my boat in Florida more that 90 days and I understand that I need to register it here.” That will work in every county.
    Jim Barrentine

    Jim, when that webmaster is working on behalf of the county tax collector, it probably does matter! Is this the website for Sarasota you’re referring to?
    A quick Google search of “florida sojourner registration” found several other FL county tax assessors using the term. I’m not a lawyer, either, but laws and regulations aren’t the same thing: actual laws are usually pretty concise, but the regulations that flow from them can be quite detailed, since they need to cover so many situations that may arise. For example, Florida law includes a homestead exemption that reduces property taxes and limits their rate of increase for residents who make the state their legal domicile…but what steps one needs to take to get this exemption is left up to each county’s tax assessor. I live in Pinellas county and the hurdle is higher here than some other Florida counties even though it’s the same state! Welcome to Florida!
    Alex Ertz

    Alex is right, a lot of Tax offices know what you are talking about when you ask for a Sojourner Permit. They know about it after years of Loopers coming and asking for it. The people in the tax office in Apalachicola (Franklin County) knew about it and had me in and out (minus $120 ) in minutes.
    When I looked at the law in 2014, it did say Sojourners Permit. Not up to digging around.
    But I am up to my refrain “the purpose of the permit is to not give Officer Obie a reason to pull you over and have a long discussion when you are trying to be on the rising tide to make docktails 5 hours from then.
    Foster & Susan

    For those whose boats are over 30 years old. You can register the boat as an antique for $4.50 a year!
    Mitch & Carole Brodkin

    A while back Paradise Yachts put out this great link. It provides the instruction page and the application form. I high recommend you read the instruction page, and bring it to the Tax Office with you and all of the forms requested. Yes, some offices do not know what you are talking about, but when they see the instruction page they know how to help you. It is very easy. Here is the link.

    Sojourner Permit

    The instructions and form are highlighted near the bottom of the article.
    Happy boating,

    guess we will need to revisit this topic again ~ a few months ago we followed all of the directions and tracked down/ contacted the lady in fernandina beach even though she had moved to another department ~ we were passing through on our way to the bahamas and we weren’t sure how long we would be in florida…what i heard her tell me is that the sojourner’s permit wasn’t done anymore or really worth anything – since all we had to do was leave for a day and go out into international waters and come back>>>> so if anyone can provide a mailing address and instructions for how to do this or if it is really necessary or tested and worked? it would be appreciated. our boat is registered in nc and also uscg documented and owned by a georgia llc with a georgia hailing port. we have plans to be back in florida in december and want to take our time cruising the keys etc. before we head back up the west coast etc. thanks!
    Ronny Jones

  • Discussion of Boater Education Requirement in Florida

    This discussion comes from Kevin Wadlow on

    Boaters operating in Florida Bay waters of Everglades National Park must complete an online education course under a new regulation expected to take effect within months. Read More

    That pending rule prompted advisers to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to ponder whether a similar educational requirement could be adopted to help protect oceanic resources in the 2,900-square-mile sanctuary. he question returns to the volunteer sanctuary council at its next meeting, Oct. 18 in Ocean Reef on North Key Largo.

    In August, Everglades National Park planner Fred Herling briefed the sanctuary council on the park’s new Florida Bay boating rules scheduled to “roll out in late 2016.” Those will require completion of a free one-hour online boat-operator course that focuses on “resource protection, safety [and] respectful boating.”

    The course must be completed before boat owners can get an annual or seven-day permit to operate in park waters. Park boat permits likely will cost $50 per year or $25 for seven days, but fees may be phased in over a period of months. When enacted, fees to launch at the Flamingo ramp will be dropped.

    Boat-permit proceeds, estimated at $500,000 annually, would help increase funding for on-the-water enforcement rangers, marker maintenance and marine research, Herling said.

    Everglades National Park has authority to enact boat permit fees and operator-education requirements for Florida Bay waters that lie in its jurisdiction. The marine sanctuary lacks such authority.

    With an updated management plan for the Keys sanctuary taking shape, now may be the time to seek a new boating-education rule, some council members suggested in August. Others expressed doubt, pointing to a complex maze of regulatory approvals needed at the state and federal level.

    Advocates of boater education for sanctuary waters, largely intended to keep vessels from striking reefs or scarring shallow seagrass flats, have made their case since the national marine sanctuary’s inception in 1990. But enacting a sanctuary boating license remains little more than an uncertain concept.

    The Oct. 18 agenda item, “Boater Education in the Florida Keys,” is scheduled for approximately 2:15 p.m. at the Ocean Reef Cultural Center.

    “It’s essentially a continuation of the earlier discussion on the potential to seek something like Everglades National Park, whether it’s mandatory or voluntary,” Deputy Superintendent Beth Dieveney said Thursday.

    Council members could ask for more specific information on the process or vote on a resolution.

    The Sanctuary Advisory Council, comprising 20 appointed Keys representatives from community, business and conservation sectors, does not have rule-making authority. However, sanctuary staff generally give the council’s recommendations and guidance considerable weight.

    Missing managers

    Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

  • Online Survey on Florida Anchoring and Mooring Available, October 1-9, 2016

    This is one very important survey that cruisers definitely will want to take. We can only keep our fingers crossed that the right questions will be asked and that our answers, observations and suggestions will be heeded, unlike past conversations with the FWC.


    FWC seeks public input on anchoring and mooring rules, pilot program
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking feedback from cruising boaters, local boaters and other residents in evaluating the state’s Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program and related ordinances.

    The FWC has posted a brief online survey to accept this feedback. It should take approximately five to 10 minutes to complete and will be available to the public Oct. 1-9. Survey
    Read More for Survey Discussion and Link

    Any input is greatly appreciated in evaluating and improving boating in Florida.

    The Florida Legislature established the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program in 2009. The intent was to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields throughout the state.

    After public input, the FWC selected the cities of St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Stuart (in conjunction with Martin County) and the cities of Key West and Marathon (in conjunction with Monroe County) as five sites for the pilot program. They were granted temporary authority to regulate mooring in their jurisdictional waters through local ordinances.

    All ordinances enacted under authority of the pilot program will expire on July 1, 2017, and will be inoperative and unenforceable thereafter, unless re-enacted by the Legislature.

    Participation in the survey will help determine the effectiveness of the program, developed ordinances, and a variety of concepts related to specific restrictions on anchoring of vessels which may be considered in the future.

    To access the survey and for more information, go to

    And this from Glen Moore on the AGLCA Forum:

    The Florida anchoring issue will be with us every year. This survey is part of the planning for next year’s legislative session and more legislation limiting anchoring. More communities will be vying to be included in the anchoring bans that were granted in two south Florida counties last year. Read More

    As a life-long resident of Florida, I have watched the law-making process over many decades. It is ironic that a state legislature with the majority of its members being elected on the platform of less government continue to issue laws regulating all forms of personal choice, including where one might anchor. Sorry if this sounds political, but this is a political issue and I have attempted to craft words in a benign manner.

    If any of you are Floridians, and have decided to provide input through this survey, please take your time in studying each question (and there are many, particularly if you have anchored in a pilot project area since 2011) before answering. As an example, some of the questions refer to the appropriate distance to be anchored from residences or marine structures such as boat ramps. While you might have a great opinion of how far you believe is appropriate, any answer of a distance could result in laws regulating how far you must anchor. Any distance required could be difficult to follow given how large your swing circle could be. You could anchor at the appropriate distance, the wind direction change resulting in your boat swinging into an illegal spot. In many areas, laws regulating how far one can anchor from a residence will create overlapping illegal areas that essentially bans anchoring.

    Last year, I wrote my State Senator questioning the proposed, and eventually passed law for south Florida. He responded that the anchoring law was needed for safety – that people water skied in the area and boats at anchor are a safety issue. I responded that they law did not prohibit anchoring in the day time, when there were people water skiing, only at night when people did not water ski – so the proposed law had no impact on the safety of skiers. He did not respond and voted for the anchoring prohibition.

    We have some tough battles ahead. Our fight in Florida is not just for reasonable anchoring laws in Florida. Legislatures tend to copy laws from other states. As anchoring laws in Florida get legislated, other states will soon follow – Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina . . .

    My recommendation on the survey is to use the comment box at the end of the survey to build your case that no additional anchoring laws/restrictions are needed in Florida.

    Be aware that waterfront homeowners will also be responding to the survey.

    Glen Moore
    Last Dance, DeFever Passagemaker 40
    Flagler Beach, FL

  • Seeking Fellow Boater in Marathon. FL

    If you know or have seen Wayne Shosie, please contact SSECN or Laurel Long at the info below.

    Hello, I’m trying to contact Wayne Shosie on MV “Blue Max”. I’ve been told he is in the anchorage at Boot Key Harbor City Marina Marathon, FL.
    Thanks for any assistance you can give.
    Contact info: Laurel Long

  • More from ACOE on Tropical Storm and Hurricane Preparations

    With the 2016 hurricane season underway, this is additional information for boaters navigating the waters of South Florida. This notice comes to us from our good friend, Specialist Erica Skolte, US Army Corp of Engineers.


    For Immediate Release, August 26, 2016
    Corps prepares for tropical activity; issues guidance to boaters & campers
    With the possibility of tropical activity in south Florida in the coming days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is preparing to respond as needed and providing information to boaters and campers on operational adjustments that will take place at navigation locks and recreation facilities.
    The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at noon today (Aug. 26). This
    action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should a tropical cyclone or heavy rain develop.
    “Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division
    Chief for Jacksonville District. “We will staff our EOC over the weekend, and dispatch liaison officers to the state EOC and other locations as appropriate.”

    Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:
    • For boaters, the Corps plans to extend operating hours for its navigation locks when a storm is 72 hours out. The extended hours will remain in place until a storm is eight hours from landfall. To ensure safety of lock operators, the Corps will suspend operations when lightning is in the area, or when winds exceed 35 mph.
    • For campers and visitors to recreation sites, Jacksonville District park rangers will monitor conditions at Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas. If a county government issues an evacuation order for mobile homes or RV parks in an area where there is a Corps’ campground or recreational facility, rangers will order an evacuation of the facility and advise on shelter locations. Visitors should move all campers, motor homes, tents, vessels, and trailers from facilities under evacuation orders.
    • Field staff will conduct pre-storm evaluation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Significant rain on the lake or in the Kissimmee basin to the north could cause a rapid rise in the lake over the coming weeks. The current lake stage is 14.67 feet. While no imminent threat of failure exists, the lake stage is in the upper end of the Corps’ preferred range of 12.5-15.5 feet.
    More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at
  • Boats Are Killing Florida Manatees in Record Numbers

    This report from focuses on the large number of manatees killed in Florida by boats this year leading to what could be the worst year on record. Slow down in Manatee Zones and keep a sharp watch ahead.

    Boats Are Killing Manatees in Record Numbers
    Manatee advocates are raising concerns about the number of these gentle giants who have been killed in Florida this year. They hope that increased vigilance and other measures will help keep this from being the worst year on record.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has already counted 71 manatees killed by boats as of July 22. The numbers are already higher than they were for the same period in 2009, which was the deadliest year on record with a total of 97 deaths.

    The growing death toll has caused manatee advocates to worry that the unfortunate record will be broken this year, but there are differing opinions as to why.


  • Comments on Sunset Cove Anchorage, Buttonwood Sound, near Inside Route Statue Mile 1143

    Andree is correct about the history of this once popular anchorage, see And see for details on a new Florida law dealing with at-risk and derelict vessels. Thank you Andree for your perspective.

    I was anchored out in Sunset Cove from 2001 to 2007 we tied our dinghies off the Bayside Resort pier. A chain link fence was put up and no trespassing sign a few years later. Thanks to some people who slept under the tree, drank , litter and trash the shore. It was a disgrace and bad image for the resort and tourists so they [authorities] did what they could to prevent it. That is why there are barely any boats there anymore. The anchorage has moved to Government center a few miles up the road.
    Andree J Hardy

    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

  • Florida’s New “At-Risk Vessel” Law

    SSECN hopes this law will never apply to you, but if your boat is frequently left unattended for any length of time, you should be aware of the new authority granted to FWC law enforcement.

    Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 07/29/2016 11:00 AM EDT
    For immediate release: July 29, 2016
    Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site:

    New at-risk vessel law helps FWC officials manage Florida waterways

    A new Florida law, approved by the Legislature and Governor during the 2016 Session, will enable county and local authorities along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to more effectively manage the state’s waterways. The new law (F.S. 327.4107) allows law enforcement officers to issue non-criminal citations to owners who allow their boats to become “at risk” of becoming derelict.


    “This law allows officers to take action before a vessel crosses that line between at-risk and derelict, and hopefully prompts the owner to rectify any issues with the vessel before it reaches a state of disrepair,” said Phil Horning, FWC’s derelict vessel program administrator. “Prior to this law being enacted, officers had to wait until a vessel met the legal criteria for a derelict vessel before beginning any sort of official interaction with the owner.”

    Under the new law, a vessel is deemed to be “at-risk” if any of the following conditions is observed:
    The vessel is taking on or has taken on water without an effective means to dewater.
    Spaces on the vessel that are designed to be enclosed are incapable of being sealed off or remain open to the elements for extended periods of time.
    The vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from its anchor.
    The vessel is left or stored aground unattended in such a state that would prevent the vessel from getting underway, is listing due to water intrusion, or is sunk or partially sunk.
    If an officer observes a vessel with one or more of these criteria, a non-criminal citation may be issued that requires the owner to correct the problem or face stronger penalties after 30 days have passed. If problems are not fixed, non-compliant vessel owners can face additional fines issued every 30 days until they are.

    Officials expect that this new law will decrease the number of vessels becoming derelict, a problem which continues to burden the state’s public waterways.

    “Our goal is to keep Florida’s waterways safe and protect their environmental stability,” said Horning. “We are committed to protecting this valuable resource for the people of Florida and its visitors.”

    Vessel owners are also reminded to sell their vessels properly.

    “Many owners don’t realize that not only is the buyer required to get the vessel retitled in their name, but the seller is also required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 30 days that they have sold their vessel,” said Horning.

    Failure to do so is a violation and may cause the prior owner of record legal troubles should the vessel become derelict at a later date. The FWC will be assisting state and local governments with derelict vessel removal grants that will be available soon. The grant funding was also approved by the Legislature and Governor during the 2016 Session. Interested applicants may contact the FWC Derelict Vessel Program office at 850-617-9540 or email for more information.

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