Great article. Thanks for bringing this important issue to light. We are Florida residents and understand the positive impact that FIND has had on maintaining the intracoastal waterways for use by all.
For the last 20 years, FIND has been very proactive by purchasing land for dredge material management sites that will be needed in the future to provide for proper maintenance of the ICW. The taxes are actually collected only from residents of the 12 counties located on the east coast of Florida. The board of FIND is comprised of a member from each county. FIND has been doing great work, and is an excellent example of how government agencies, when properly run, can have positive benefits.
Thanks again for your article.
On behalf of the AIWA Board of Directors (who are copied on this email), we truly appreciate your efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in your major editorial (link #1 in the alert below). We also appreciate our partnership in spreading the word in other emails and newsletters.
Please let me know how I can be of further service to you and our waterway cruisers.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association
What used to be somewhat lovingly called “The Ditch,” is rapidly become “a ditch.” Where I grew up, that was wadin’ water.
We no longer bother going north of Brunswick and once we can get insurance in FL we probably won’t even go that far north. We would rather pay the outrageous premiums than persistently endanger the boat traveling farther north. We don’t expect the waterway to be an amusement park tunnel of love, but we do expect national infrastructure to be managed for national benefit. At this point a new magenta line is moot unless it comes with the caveat, “use only at highest tides.”
We had planned to go from New Bern to Cumberland Island, and return in March and April. It now looks like it will be trouble than it is worth. A few trips to Ocracoke and other “local waters” will probably be it.
Sorry South Carolina and Georgia will get no revenue from us this spring.
John and Georgie
We sail from Fernandina to Beaufort, skipping all the problem spots. Taking all our money with us.
Suggest you also submit your letter to several boat magazines to see if one or more might publish them. Southern Boating comes to mind as well as Soundings.
Claiborne, excellent article and I hope the powers that be pay attention to it, but as one who does the ICW twice yearly at a minimum, the ICW is not (yet) impassable, despite comments such as I see here from others.
With proper planning, the trouble spots in SC and GA are easily passable, even by deep draft boats. It shouldn’t require this level of caution, no – but for those such as John and George, or Chris, above- perhaps it’s better that they remain in their local waters and spare the rest of us the difficulty of saving them when their lack of navigational skills lands them in trouble.
Regardless of all this, SC and GA do need to ‘get on board’ and dredge their waters as required.
Joined AIWA today…great suggestion.
Wonderful eulogy for Jack Dozier…he was one hellva good guy.
There is a huge difference in the support for maintaining the ICW between Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas because of the fact that the ICW is what gives millions of Floridians waterfront property. Anyone who has traveled the coasts of Florida’s knows that much of it is a channel between rows of waterfront homes. Those homeowners provide lots of political clout and lots of tax dollars for maintaining their lifestyle, whereas there is no significant political or monetary constituency for the Little Mud River area in Georgia. You’ll note that the more populated the area the better maintained the ICW is, in general. In the past the ICW was much more of a commercial highway for barge traffic. As recently as the 1980s, when I first started doing the ICW, a lot of the excitement was dodging enormous barge strings. That business has gone away, and with it the political clout those large businesses had. Sportfishing is still big business, but many of those folks are much less concerned with shallow channels than cruising boaters, which are such a tiny group that they have no political clout. Not sure what the solution is.
I could be wrong but have felt that South Carolina and Georgia have also been parsimonious on the waterway marker expenditures. In so many spots it is just an educated guess as which side of the ditch to favor.