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    • LNM: Lighted Buoy 29 Destroyed, St. Johns River, FL


      St Johns River lighted buoy 29 marks the northern entrance to a 13ft maintained channel off the Salano Point on the eastern shore. There is ample depth on either side of the channel to avoid nearing the destroyed buoy.

      FLORIDA – ST JOHNS RIVER: Hazard to Navigation
      Solano Point Light 29 (LLNR 7915) on the same structure as Tocoi Cut Range Rear Light (LLNR 7930) have been destroyed and pending disestablishment. The structure has collapsed and is posing a hazard to navigation; wreckage is approximately 10ft above the water. The wreckage is marked with a TRLB displaying FL Q G characteristics in position 29-52-27.175N/081-35-18.298W (29°52.4529N / 081°35.3050W, 29.874215 / -81.588416) . Mariners are advised to exercise caution while transiting the area.
      Chart 11492 LNM 25/19

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    • AGLCA’s Report on the Brunswick Meeting on HB 201

      AGLCA’s director, Kim Russo, has been very involved with the suggested wording process for HB 201 sent to GA DNR and attended the 6/17 meeting with the GA DNR in Brunswick. This is her report to the AGLCA membership.

      The hearing held by DNR in Georgia last night was well-attend, with more than 50 people taking part in the meeting and more than 25 taking the mic to comment.  The news is mostly positive, but there is still a lot of time left in the process.

      DNR began by giving details of the new law slated to take effect January 1st.  During the DNR presentation, they did agree with our stance that all coastal waterways should be allowable anchorages with limited exceptions for shellfish beds, navigation channels, and a limited distance from marine infrastructure such as marinas and boat ramps.  This is a win.  AGLCA and our coalition (made up of SSCA, MTOA, and DeFever Cruisers) suggested that 150 feet is an appropriate set-back from marine infrastructure.  The group we worked with to craft consensus comments (which included GAMBA, Waterway Guide, Cruisers’ Net, Tom Hale, and Roger Long) also agreed to 150 feet.  However, DNR has not yet determined what that distance for this setback should be and is continuing to assess the options.  DNR also included private residences in the list of shore-side development where an anchoring setback might be put in place.  The addition of residential property to that list is something we will have to consider, but I believe it will be a problem for our members and for our coalition.  This could potentially put the wants of individual homeowners in front of the rights of boaters.  As a reminder, the waterways are in the public trust and are not owned by individuals.  That said, there may be a reasonable distance from private docks that boats should not be allowed to anchor.  I’m interested in hearing members’ thoughts on that issue.
        
      I was pleased to have the opportunity to reiterate our previously submitted comments on behalf of our members and our coalition.  Representatives from BoatUS, National Marina Manufacturers Association, GAMBA, and Waterway Guide also spoke in support of the right of boaters to anchor.  Current and former Georgia legislators addressed the group and agreed that there are problems with the law as written.  Many individual boat owners expressed frustration with the law, a primary theme being a lack of evidence that there is a need for these new restrictions, and the lack of enforcement of existing laws that could help solve the problems (if these problems exist in Georgia) of dumping raw sewage into the waterways and abandoning vessels. 

      There was no information provided by DNR on where they may be headed with the permit issue.  You have until July 15th to submit written comments.  Revised rules will then be presented by DNR to the Board of Natural Resources in August.  DNR has agreed to open another public comment period to gather feedback on the revised rules.  This will most likely take place in October.

      If you haven’t yet submitted written comments to DNR, please send them to:

      Kelly Hill
      Coastal Resources Division
      One Conservation Way
      Brunswick, GA 31520
      Kelly.Hill@dnr.ga.gov

      Simply, state who you are, why you’re interested in this issue, and what you’d like DNR to do.  If you are in agreement with AGLCA’s proposal, then you’d like DNR to amend the proposed rules so that:  

      -Permits are not required for anchoring 60 days or less
      -All coastal waterways are open to anchoring with the exception of shellfish beds, navigation channels, and within 150 feet of marine infrastructure including marinas, boat ramps, boatyards, or other vessel launching or loading facilities.

      Please consider sharing this information with four boating friends and asking them to submit comments as well.  

      If you have any questions about all of this, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Kim Russo
      Director
      America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association

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    • US Army Corp of Engineers Report on Jekyll Creek Dredging, GA Problem Stretch AICW Statute Mile 683


      Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the Heat

      Our thanks to James Newsome for this USACE report on dredging in Jekyll Creek which has been a Cruisers Net Problem Stretch for years. The on-going dredging is more than welcome, it is essential! Jekyll Creek is home to CRUISERS NET SPONSOR, Jekyll Harbor Marina.

      Click here for Dredging pilot project could be a game-changer for Georgia coast

      Click Here To View the Cruisers Net AICW Problem Stretches Listing For Jekyll Creek

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Jeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the Heat
       
       

      Click Here To View the Cruisers Net Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Jekyll Harbor Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jekyll Harbor Marina

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    • Further Reaction to Georgia’s Anchorage Restricting HB 201

      Our thanks to Tim McNair, a full-time cruiser, for sharing his thoughts on HB 201.

      Regarding anchoring restrictions in the State of Georgia

      First, I would like to apologize for the length of this post. However, if you are at all interested in Anchorage restrictions in Georgia or anywhere else I encourage you to read this post in its entirety.

      My wife and first mate, Tawnya and I are full-time liveaboards currently doing America’s Great Loop.

      We were residents of Brunswick, Georgia for 21 years. I am a retired FBI agent serving my final 11 years in Brunswick, GA.

      We attended the public hearing at the Georgia DNR on 6-17-19 concerning the recent passage of Georgia House Bill 201, anchoring restrictions in Georgia.

      The Boating, cruising, live aboard Community was well-represented. Kim Russo, AGLCA director made an outstanding presentation as did many other national figures from the Boating world.

      It was apparent early on in the hearing that the concerns of the attendees was that this law appeared to be hastily written and passed with little to no studies or data to support its necessity and that sufficient laws were already in place, but not enforced in Georgia especially with regard to discharge of sewage. The ambiguity and near-impossible enforcement were pointed out.

      In my investigative mind it appeared that a NIMBY (Not In My Backyayd) scenario may have led to the creation of this law.

      Near the end of the hearing a lady, Amanda Williams, spoke in support of the law. She acknowledged that the group present were not the problem, but it was the 10% non law-abiding citizens who were the problem and that she was concerned about the cleanliness of the water in Georgia and was hopeful this law would help rectify that problem.

      I applaud Representative Hogan, the sponsor of the bill from Georgia District 179 for having the intestinal fortitude to speak before a somewhat hostile audience. However, when pressure as to why this law was created and as to the frequency of live aboard vessels that were problems, he cited one specific case of a former Navy vessel moored near downtown Brunswick being used as a live-aboard.

      By the way, Amanda Williams did not inform the group that she is a former Superior Court judge on the Brunswick Circuit in Georgia and currently an attorney in Brunswick.

      It may be coincidental but remains somewhat suspicious that the problem live-aboard mention by representative Hogan at the hearing is moored on the river behind Attorney and former Judge Williams office. Could this be the NIMBY that led to the creation of this law?

      Absolutely no proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt here, but sufficient cause to to get answers to a lot of questions before public funds are used to implement this unnecessary, burdensome and ambiguous law that is an embarrassment to the Great State of Georgia and potentially sets dangerous precedent for our anchoring rights in other locations.

      In the above photo [being sought] the brick building to the right is attorney Williams office and the vessel in question is behind and to the left of her office.

      Tim McNair
      M/V IT IS WELL

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    • Southeast Marine Fuel Best Price Summary as of Jun 19

      This week’s lowest current marina fuel prices as of Jun 19
              Diesel Range: $2.30 to $3.89 Lowest @ New River Marina in (North Carolina)
              Gas Range: $2.51 to $4.09 Lowest @ Trout Creek Marina (Trout Creek Fish Camp) in (St Johns River)
      Remember to always call the marina to verify the current price since prices may change at any time. Also please let us know if you find a marina’s fuel price has changed via the Submit News link.

      SELECT Fuel Type:
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      Lowest Diesel Price in Each Region

      Lowest Diesel Prices Anywhere

      All Regions (Price Range $2.30 to $3.93)

      Lowest By Region

      Virginia to North Carolina (Price Range $2.59 to $3.29)

      $2.59 Top Rack Marina (06/17)
      $2.65 Atlantic Yacht Basin (06/17)
      $2.75 Bluewater Yachting Center (06/17)

       

      North Carolina (Price Range $2.30 to $3.89)

       

      South Carolina (Price Range $2.50 to $3.55)

      $2.50 Osprey Marina (06/17)
      $2.84 Bucksport Marina (06/18)
      $2.90 Hazzard Marine (06/17)

       

      Georgia (Price Range $2.69 to $3.70)

       

      Eastern Florida (Price Range $2.49 to $3.85)

      $2.49 Sands Harbor Resort and Marina (06/17)
      $2.73 Anchor Petroleum (06/18)
      $2.87 Port Consolidated (06/17)

       

      St Johns River (Price Range $2.44 to $3.35)

       

      Florida Keyes (Price Range $2.98 to $3.93)

      $2.98 Sunset Marina (06/17)
      $2.99 A & B Marina (06/18)
      $3.01 Keys Fisheries Market & Marina (06/17)

       

      Western Florida (Price Range $2.77 to $3.75)

      $2.77 Gasparilla Marina (06/17)
      $2.79 A-1 Fuel Service (06/17)
      $2.87 F&Y, Inc (06/17)

       

      Okeechobee (Price Range $3.12 to $3.71)

       

      Northern Gulf (Price Range $2.65 to $2.74)

       

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    • Letter to Georgia Legislators by Jim Healy

      Jim and Peg Healy cruise the Waterway annually and have been supportive of and outspoken on the issue of boaters’ rights for as long as I have known them. Jim is articulate, logical and reasonable in his writing, as you will see below. Our thanks to Jim for sharing his thoughts with our readers.

      Hon. Don Logan
      Hon. William Ligon
      Hon. Jesse Petrea
      Hon. Karen Mathiak
      Hon Al Williams
      Hon. Lynn Smith

      Ladies and Gentlemen:

      My wife and I are long-term cruisers. Our boat has been our principle home for 15 years. We are “snowbirds;” annually, we cruise north to spend our summers on the Chesapeake Bay, the NYS Canal System, or along the New England Coast. Each fall, we cruise south to spend our winters in SW Florida. Both spring and fall, we utilize the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (A-ICW) to transit the magnificent Low Country of Georgia. In our travels, we take advantage of both anchorages and marinas. Georgia anchorages we’ve utilized include several places around Cumberland Island, at Jekyll Island, the Frederica River at Ft. Frederica, the Duplin River, New Teakettle Creek, the Crescent River, the Wahoo River, several places at Walburg Creek, Big Tom Creek, the Ogeechee River and the Vernon River. Marinas we have visited include Jekyll Harbor Marina, Brunswick Landing Marina, Golden Isles Marina, Two-Way Fish Camp, Kilkenny Marina, Delegal Marina, Isle of Hope Marina, Sail Harbor Boatyard and Marina, Thunderbolt Marina, and the Savannah Downtown Municipal Docks. We try to visit and enjoy different areas on each passage.

      I am writing to express my general opposition to HB201. As I understand the revisions to the relevant Georgia Statutes, there appear to be two components of HB201. First is the discharge of sewage. Second is a new requirement for permits needed in order to anchor in Georgia estuarine waters. I will comment on each in turn, but I believe HB201 is based on flawed assumptions, and will only serve to confuse transient boaters like myself. Furthermore, it is going to be very difficult for boaters to comply, and both difficult and costly for Georgia Law Enforcement Officers to actually enforce. It’s hard to understand how this bill could have been adopted without input from Georgia Marina operators and from the boating public, since the burden of compliance falls on these two groups.

      With regard to the discharge of sewage:

      The Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 disallows the discharge of sewage within the territorial waters of the United states. It has been unlawful under federal regulations to dump any raw sewage into the territorial waters of the United states since that act took effect. Boats with USCG Type II treatment systems, which have been tested and certified by the USCG to comply with the strict requirements of onboard sewage treatment, may discharge treated effluent except in designated “No Discharge Zones.” So far as I know, the estuarine waters of Georgia have not been designated as NDZs. To emphasize, however, today it is unlawful under the regulations of the Federal Clean Water Act to discharge the contents of a holding tank or otherwise directly discharge sewage into the territorial waters of the US, which includes all of the waters of Georgia, and it has been unlawful for at least 40 years. This would seem to render the sanitation portion of HB201 unnecessary in the first place. If Georgia believe a boater is in violation, that boater can be cited under the terms of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972.

      Continuing, however, any requirement for the mechanical removal of component parts of a boat’s plumbing system is a severe hardship and unreasonable imposition on boaters who travel offshore, discharge sewage lawfully beyond the US territorial three-mile limit, and subsequently enter Georgia estuarine Public Trust waters seeking safe overnight anchorage. In this circumstance, there is no way to document compliance with HB201, which can lead to misunderstandings and inappropriate accusations in encounters between transient boaters and Georgia law enforcement officials.

      The revised Georgia statue also imposes an unreasonable hardship on transient cruising boats in navigation on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and tributary estuarine waters of the state. Many cruising boats take only two or three days to transit low-country estuarine waters. A variety of circumstances might result in a boat lawfully pumping out in a non-Georgia jurisdiction (South Carolina or Florida) prior to entering Georgia state waters. Assuming a boat with a 10-14 day capacity for the holding tank, there may be no way for an otherwise compliant boater to document compliance with the Georgia statute. A southbound transient boater who pumped out in South Carolina, subsequently transited the low country, and pumped out again in Florida, is in compliance with HB201, but is unable to meet the newly imposed documentation requirement to demonstrate that compliance.

      In light of the above, it seems the Georgia law is poorly though out and constitutes an undue burden to transient boaters engaged in lawful navigation on Georgia Public Trust estuarine waters.

      With regard to the new permitting process:

      The Official Code of Georgia must acknowledge that there is a difference between the rights of 1) a boat anchored while engaged in navigation, such as ours, and 2) a boat that is in what amounts to long-term storage upon the Public Trust waters of the state while attached to an anchor or mooring ball. Neither current Georgia Statute nor HB201 appear to me to recognize this important distinction. Boats engaged in navigation are not at risk of becoming derelict. It is boats in long term storage at anchor, or on a mooring ball, that are at risk of becoming derelict.

      It appears to me that Georgia statute does not define “Derelict” and does not provide objective criteria for 1) declaring a boat to be at risk of becoming derelict or 2) of actually being in a derelict condition. This is an oversight (flaw) of Georgia statute. I respectfully suggest a review of Florida Statute 327.4017. The Florida definition of “At Risk” boats is at this time well thought out and does not adversely affect boats lawfully being used in navigation.

      Local Law Enforcement Officers who patrol Georgia estuarine Public Trust waters on a regular basis are well aware of stored boats that are either derelict or at risk of becoming derelict. Absent specific superseding legislation, local nuisance laws can be used by local municipal authorities having jurisdiction to seize and remove derelict boats and to cite owners of at risk boats to require corrective action within a specified period of time in the same way that abandoned cars can be removed from public highways.

      Conclusions:

      In consideration of the jurisdiction of the Federal Clean Waters Act of 1972, the sanitation provisions of HB201 appear to be unnecessary in whole.

      I am completely opposed to permitting fees for transient boats lawfully engaged in navigation, of which anchoring is a lawful part. Additionally, I believe there are federal court precedents that identify such license imposts as unconstitutional. For the short term (no more than 60 days) for boats in navigation (boats in transit through the State of Georgia), there should be no anchoring fees (license imposts) and no permit requirements.

      I am not opposed to a permit requirement and substantial fees for boats that are long-term stored by anchoring upon Georgia Public Trust waters. It is these long term stored boats that create the risk of becoming derelict, and it should fall to the owners of long term stored boats to fund corrective action and cleanup. These storage fees could attach to any boat anchored in the same place on Public Trust waters for an extended period of time; ex: anchored in one place for 60 days or longer. I would also suggest, in any case, it is incumbent on local law enforcement officials and municipal authorities having jurisdiction to take interventional action before a boat in their jurisdiction becomes derelict in the first place.

      Very truly Yours,
      l/s: James B. Healy

      cc: Amy Thurman, GAMBA

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Annapolis, MD.

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      1. Richard Edward Byrd -  June 18, 2019 - 5:38 pm

        very well said Jim, i might ad that there are only a few marinas along our beautiful coast the cater to transient boaters. i feel that this energy should be put to promoting these small businesses instead of discouraging the transients that enjoy passing through our coastal waters.

        Reply to Richard
    • Report from the June 17 Hearing on Georgia’s HB 201, Brunswick, GA

      Cruisers Net wishes to thank all those whose efforts went into preparing for the meeting, those who sent letters and for all those cruisers who attended. Even without speaking, your physical presence spoke volumes! And a big thank you to Kelly Hill for this report.

      WOW! Everyone, just wow! What an amazing evening, cruisers speaking out!

      Thanks first of all to everyone who made it to the DNR meeting in Brunswick – I know the DNR was impressed by the fact the room was full. That means a lot.

      Thanks to all who commented, your voices were heard loud and clear.

      Thanks to the folks who were thinking ahead and livestreamed the meeting – I was so wrapped up in what was going on I didn’t even think of it. Had I done so, we could have announced that so that everyone here could have watched the meeting.

      As you can gather, it was a high energy meeting – a VERY high energy meeting. Not a single soul spoke in favor of the DNR’s plans. The upset with them was obvious. The biggest considerations were that laws already exist to deal with issues such as pumping out and derelict boats; that the fee/permitting setup was possibly not legal, couldn’t be enforced and was basically unworkable.

      Condemnation of the DNR’s plans was universal – from Kim Russo of the SSCA, from Boat US and the NMMA, even from GAMBA president Charlie Waller, and about 25 speakers from the boating and cruising community.

      The bill’s sponsor, House rep Don Hogan, spoke, and kudos to him for being brave enough to get up in front of that audience. It was clear that the officials heard what the audience was saying – that this was a bad bill, not properly prepared, with no data to back it up and without adequate predication. At least three people, if not more, stated that the bill should not be enforced, that it should be put aside until the 2020 legislative session, when it can be reviewed and the problems in it corrected.

      What will the DNR do? That’s hard to say. If they’re responsive to the public, this bill is dead in the water (sorry for the pun!). If not – we have a problem.

      So – we need to keep the pressure up. The DNR has received 70 letters to date, not counting the official responses from we of the Save Georgia’s Anchorages, the SSCA/MTOA/AGLCA coalition, Boat US and the NMMA.

      So if you aren’t one of the 70 who already wrote in – we need you to write in your opposition to HB201 today. Send your opposition to this bill to

      Kelly Hill

      Coastal Resources Division

      One Conservation Way

      Brunswick, GA 31520

      Kelly.Hill@dnr.ga.gov

      Once you’ve done that, copy at least three boating friends with this information and get them to do the same. If you want a prewritten letter to make it easy, you’ll find three of them in the FILES section of the Save Georgia Anchorages Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveGeorgiasAnchorages/. See the links on the left hand side of the page to open FILES.

      Just do it, and then post here that you did, pour encourage les autres.

      Again everyone, thanks for your support. We’re winning this fight, but we’re not quite there yet. We’ve all still got work to do!

      Once again, huge thanks to Cruisers Net for their support of the boating community.

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      1. James Newsome -  June 18, 2019 - 6:18 pm

        Larry,
        Thanks to you and Cruiser's Net as well as all the folks who attended the meeting in Brunswick yesterday. This is an excellent start to minimizing the damage from the needless anchoring law, but there are a couple more important parts of the process. We need comments mailed or emailed to DNR during the open comment period which will end mid-July. You've included this information in your update. PLEASE EVERYONE DO THIS!!

        Next, we need folks to stay tuned as the Coastal Resource Division of DNR formulates rules to present to the full DNR board for approval sometimes in December. We may need to mobilize an email campaign to DNR prior to this date if the Coastal Resource Division doesn't back off on the adverse rule implementation.

        Finally, the boaters groups will be keenly aware of the next legislative term for GA which starts in mid January 2020. The permanent fix is for much of HB201 to be changed, and we will need to pressure legislators to rewrite this law to make it more specific to address the real problem of derelict vessels and to be friendlier to the responsible boating community.

        Reply to James
    • LNM: Safety Zone, July 4, Harbor Channel, Norfolk, VA AICW Statute Mile 0


      Town Point Reach extends from the Waterway at Mile Zero and the main channel eastward into the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. Obviously, after dark boating requires great care, especially among spectator boats.

      SEC HR BNM 171-19

      VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ELIZABETH RIVER

      MARINERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE CAPTAIN OF THE PORT HAMPTON ROADS WILL ESTABLISH A SAFETY ZONE IN SUPPORT OF THE 37TH ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION ON THE ELIZABETH RIVER IN THE VICINITY OF TOWN POINT REACH. THE SAFETY ZONE WILL BE ENFORCED FROM 9:30 P.M. UNTIL 9:50 P.M. ON JULY 4, 2019 AND WILL ENCOMPASS ALL WATERS WITHIN AN AREA BOUND BY THE FOLLOWING COORDINATES: 36-50-54.8N/076-18-10.7W (36°50.9134N / 076°18.1783W, 36.848556 / -76.302972), TO 36 -51-7.9N/076-18-01W (0°51.1316N / 076°18.0167W, 0.852194 / -76.300278), TO 36-50-45.6N/076-17-44.2W (36°50.7600N / 076°17.7367W, 36.846000 / -76.295611), TO 36-50-29.6N/076 -17-23.2W, TO 36-50-7.7N/076-17-32.3W (36°50.1283N / 076°17.5384W, 36.835472 / -76.292306), TO 36-49-58N/076-17-28.6W (36°49.9667N / 076°17.4767W, 36.832778 / -76.291278), TO 36-49-52.6N/076-17-43.8W (36°49.8767N / 076°17.7300W, 36.831278 / -76.295500), TO 36-50-27.2N/076-17-45.3W (36°50.4533N / 076°17.7550W, 36.840889 / -76.295917) . MARINERS MUST REMAIN OUTSIDE OF THIS ZONE UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE CAPTAIN OF THE PORT OR A DESGINATED REPRESENTATIVE.

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    • LNM: Wolcott Memorial Regatta, June 30, Norfolk Harbor, VA


      The Lafayette River intersects the Elizabeth River east Craney Island and north of Mile Zero. Minimum wake is required in the Waterway during the regatta.

      SEC HR BNM 170-19

      VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ELIZABETH RIVER – LAFAYETTE RIVER

      MARINERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE WOLCOTT MEMORIAL REGATTA WILL BE HELD IN THE ELIZABETH RIVER AND LAFAYETTE RIVER. THIS EVENT WILL BEGIN AT 9 AM AND END AT 5 PM ON JUNE 30, 2019. MARINERS ARE REQUESTED TO USE CAUTION AND BARE STEERAGE WHEN TRANSITING THE AREA.

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