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    • UPDATE on Anchoring Ban in Florida ICW – HB1051

      As reporter Branon Edwards relates in this article in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, HB1051 is being presented today (1/26) by a group of Florida legislators. Bill is reported on 1/27 as passed with 12 Yea votes. Click Here for related opinion.

      February 3 UPDATE from our friends at AGLCA Forum

      UPDATE ON FLORIDA ANCHORING LEGISLATION
      An amended version of the HB1051 (now CS/HB1051) passed a committee last week. SSCA and AGLCA members, along with our other boating partners, spoke against the amended bill which included a safe harbor provision and the ability for law enforcement, government boats and rescue boats to anchor overnight. The prohibition on overnight anchoring remained, which we don’t support. We are working to modify that provision. At present calls and emails should be directed to members of the House State Affairs Committee stating the following:

      “I am (a Florida resident/Florida tourist) and cruise extensively in Florida waters. I oppose the present language in CS/HB1051 because the bill does not give cruising boats the ability to anchor for a reasonable time while in navigation under federal law. We are also concerned that this bill opens the door for communities to pursue similar legislation without adequate justification which would result in unfair, random and unreasonable anchoring restrictions. A better way to address the issues in these areas is to pursue enactment of a comprehensive mooring/anchoring planning and adoption process that would apply to all communities, not just selected ones.”

      If you are a Florida resident, please look at the member list below, if you live in one of the member’s area, you should send a separate note to them stating you are a constituent.

      Here is link to the committee website:

      http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=2851

      anchoring

      Yachts anchored in Fort Lauderdale’s Middle River basin, which would be illegal if proposed legislation passes. Branon Edwards

      BY BRANON EDWARDS TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2016 | 3 HOURS AGO
      A battle is heating up between rich owners of waterfront property and boaters who, instead of docking, use anchors to keep their boats cheaply (free!) in the Intracoastal Waterway. The rich have argued that these anchored boats ruin their view — especially vessels that have been abandoned and become decrepit. Many boaters, however, contend that they are responsible and have rights to use the waterway.

      As they say, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” In this case, the squeaky wheel appears to be wealthy property owners along Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, and the grease is a nasty bit of proposed legislation known in the House as HB1051 and in the Senate as SB1260. Both bills in Tallahassee aim to make it illegal to anchor overnight in parts of the Intracoastal Waterway despite the waterway having been used for this purpose since its inception.

      CLICK HERE for the full article by Branon Edwards

      Comments from Cruisers (15)

      1. Tom Earnest -  May 20, 2016 - 10:46 pm

        Unfortunately, boaters like to complain and bitch but when it comes to picking up the phone or e-mailing Florida Representatives or Senators, boaters did not care enough to contact the legislators.

        K would like to hold to all of you Greg Staub who serves in the Florida House. Greg’s e-mail and phone calls was against the boll and he voted against the bill.

        Even now you should contact members of the Florida Senate and House. We dropped the ball on this and now we have to live with it. Plus other communities will want to anchoring areas.

        Reply to Tom
      2. Rick Ritchie -  May 20, 2016 - 10:16 am

        Editor’s comment: Rick’s comments are related to a posting on Edgewater Lake from 2011, but his argument is pertinent to the ongoing discussion of anchoring in Florida.

        That is a good point, and only slightly misses the mark. You see, Edgewater Lake has been an anchorage… a Florida FWC designated anchorage, for a long. long time. So in light of this, here is a slightly better analogy. Suppose you spent your hard-earned retirement savings on a Florida home right next to a beautiful campground. One with an unpolluted, peaceful and rustic scenery that would inspire an artist to weep. Then suddenly, in April, some campers and motor homes start parking within your cherished and serene view. Some, of course, only park for a night or two. But others stay for the season. A few even leave their caravans behind and only visit on weekends. Of course this is all within the State legal limits of the camper owner, and the campground. Here is the question: Does the offended home-owner who lost his peaceful view have a legitimate and valid case against the camper owner?
        Rick Ritchie

        Reply to Rick
      3. Capt. Bob -  March 6, 2016 - 1:42 pm

        OK, let’s be fair and intelligent about this issue. Sure, I can understand the objection to having “plainly obvious derelict boats” permanently moored in view of anyone home, on the other hand, transient boats and those owned by Florida property owners who moor their boats which are well maintained should not have the right, under traditional federal law, taken away.
        As for transient boat, passing through Florida waters, as a compromise, why not have a time limit, say 1-3 days at mooring, longer for needed repairs. It seems to be forgotten, transients go ashore to replenish supplies and such to spend money in the Florida economy.
        As for me on my trips to the South coasting along Florida should this a Bill of total mooring prohibition pass, I will prepare to by-pass Florida while sailing off-shore all the way. But, what about refuge in extreme weather? There is a lot of question and considerations in this issue.

        Capt. Bob

        but what about refuge in extreme weather

        Reply to Capt.
      4. Capt. Whit -  February 9, 2016 - 9:10 am

        For whatever it is worth, I sent the following to Bernie Sanders!
        Bernie,
        This is a struggle that should be right up your alley and if you would like my vote for President perhaps you could get involved with this issue. There is a bill in the Florida legislature that is essentially a ban on cruising boat anchoring in safe harbors where the wealthy have big houses and don’t want their views obstructed by cruising boats anchoring there! A very typical 2% kind of mentality. I am making my very first trip on our boat down to Florida this winter from VT and have, in fact, just entered Florida waters. The boating community has asked Florida boaters or visitors to contact the members of the Florida House State Affairs Committee stating the following: (I figured I could do one better by asking you to assist since this is definitely an issue with the wealthy not wanting their nice expensive harbor views to be obstructed.)
        “I am (a Florida resident/Florida tourist) and cruise extensively in Florida waters. I oppose the present language in CS/HB1051 because the bill does not give cruising boats the ability to anchor for a reasonable time while in navigation under federal law. We are also concerned that this bill opens the door for communities to pursue similar legislation without adequate justification which would result in unfair, random and unreasonable anchoring restrictions. A better way to address the issues in these areas is to pursue enactment of a comprehensive mooring/anchoring planning and adoption process that would apply to all communities, not just selected ones.”

        What do you say, Bernie – want to fight for the middle class against the 1 and 2% ers?

        Thanks,

        Reply to Capt.
      5. Jim Healy -  February 5, 2016 - 6:57 pm

        I’m pretty convinced that nibbling at the heals of the committees will not be productive. I am a Florida resident, and today, I sent the following to my Florida State Representative. I strongly suggest interested boaters who are Florida residents also contact their home representatives. This will ultimately be adopted or stopped in the legislature as a whole, not in committee.

        Letter follows:

        Dear Representative Van Zant;

        My wife and I are Florida residents of Florida, residing at Green Cove Springs. We use our boat to cruise throughout Florida’s wonderful public trust waters. This bill violates the public trust responsibility that the Florida legislature has to ensure Florida’s waters are available for use by all of her citizens and visitors. This bill favors the selfish aesthetic interests of wealthy waterfront landowners who knew, or should have known when they bought their properties, that boats use waters adjacent to their properties. HB1051 targets small, select and wealthy areas of the state. The bill will create confusion among non-local boaters and confusion will greatly complicate voluntary compliance. Finally, I feel that the safety of boaters could be greatly compromised by what effectively amounts to closure of these anchorages.

        I have a detailed article on the public trust doctrine on my personal website, here: https://gilwellbear.wordpress.com/category/cruising-practica/general-cruising/anchoring-rights/.

        Please, Mr. Van Sant, honor the public trust responsibility that goes with your office, and vote against this discriminatory bill which clearly favors big money interests. Please, do not succumb to an act of class warfare by supporting a class-based prohibition. Please support the public trust!

        Very sincerely yours,

        James B. Healy
        (914) 466-5829

        Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
        http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
        Monk 36 Hull #132
        MMSI #367042570
        AGLCA #3767
        MTOA #3436

        Reply to Jim
      6. Tom Earnest -  February 1, 2016 - 1:34 pm

        Below is a list of Florida Legislators who voted yes on this. If you want to help yourself e-mail and let your views be heard.

        If you are not willing to do that, why bitch on this forum?

        Thank you for contacting Rep. Steube regarding HB 1051 – Recreational Boating Zones by Rep. Caldwell.

        Link to HB 1051:
        http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=56022&SessionId=80

        HB 1051 favorably passed with a committee substitute during the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee January 26, 2016 meeting. You can view archived video of this meeting by going to this link: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/VideoPlayer.aspx?eventID=2443575804_2016011358&committeeID=2852

        Additionally, a vote sheet from the January 26 meeting is below:
        Bill Number:
        1051
        Bill Name:
        CS/HB 1051
        Action:
        Favorable With Committee Substitute
        Committee:
        Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee
        Location:
        Reed Hall (102 HOB)
        Duration:
        2.00
        Date:
        1/26/2016 12:00:00 PM
        Sponsor:
        Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee and C…
        Subject:
        Recreational Boating Zones

        Y Boyd
        Y DuBose
        Y Lee
        Y Smith
        Y Sullivan
        Y Combee
        Y Edwards
        Y Pilon
        Y Stevenson
        – Watson, C.
        Y Drake
        Y Goodson
        Y Raburn

        Total Yeas:
        12
        Total Nays:
        0
        Total Missed:
        1
        Total Votes:
        13

        Reply to Tom
      7. Tom Earnest -  January 30, 2016 - 12:57 pm

        Guys,
        I sent 51 e-mails to Florida Legislators using the e-mail posted below, Google Chrome as my browser and Chroamie(???) which automatically fills out the blanks on their forms in 21 MINUTES!

        Do something to help all of us!

        Reply to Tom
      8. Tom Earnest -  January 30, 2016 - 12:16 pm

        I just sent this to my Florida State Representative. Took less than 5 minutes.

        Would you please vote against S
        HB 1051, SB 1260: Recreational Boating Zones

        Recreational Boating Zones; prohibiting overnight anchoring or mooring of vessels in specified recreational boating zones, etc.

        I keep my 58’ boat behind my condo and do quite a bit of cruising spending Thousands of dollars while I do that. People like me provide a lot of jobs in Florida.
        This bill is too broadly worded. The real issue is Derelict boats anchored in front of homes. The solution is to have a law defining Derelict boats well enough that either FWC, local police, and the Coast Guard can determine which boats are transient and which are derelict. Once documented by pictures by law enforcement, they can have a contractor who has won a contract to remove the vessels and either sell them or have the owners pay the towing and storage charges. When local officials think that derelict vessels are an issue then they can award a contract to a contractor for the removal of the vessels deemed derelict by law enforcement. Otherwise, the State should not be involved in this issue.
        Since you represent an area full of boaters and homeowners with water views not to mention people and businesses that earn a living from these boaters, I wish you would inject some sanity into this highly emotionally charged issue.
        Sincerely,

        Reply to Tom
      9. Tom Earnest -  January 30, 2016 - 12:09 pm

        Guys,
        Bitching on here has no effect.
        Go to http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find
        pick either your state senator in Florida or pick one along the Intracoastal.

        Go to http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx

        Do the same thing. I sent the flowing to mine.

        Would you please vote against SB 1260, SB 1260: Recreational Boating Zones
        GENERAL BILL by Simpson
        Recreational Boating Zones; prohibiting overnight anchoring or mooring of vessels in specified recreational boating zones, etc.

        I keep my 58’boat behind my condo and do quite a bit of cruising spending Thousands of dollars while I do that. People like me provide a lot of jobs in Florida.

        This bill is too broadly worded. The real issue is Derelict boats anchored in front of homes. The solution is to have a law defining Derelict boats well enough that either FWC, local police, and the Coast Guard can determine which boats are transient and which are derelict. Once documented by pictures by law enforcement, they can have a contractor who has won a contract to remove the vessels and either sell them or have the owners pay the towing and storage charges. When local officials think that derelict vessels are an issue then they can award a contract to a contractor for the removal of the vessels deemed derelict by law enforcement. Otherwise, the State should not be involved in this issue.

        Since you represent an area full of boaters and homeowners with water views not to mention people and businesses that earn a living from these boaters, I wish you would inject some sanity into this highly emotionally charged issue.

        Sincerely,

        Do the same thing. If you want to cut and paste mine, at least you are doing SOMETHING. To the naysayers; what you’re doing is working too, right?

        Talk about how much money you spend and how many jobs you help support.

        Walk around with your laptop and get everyone you can to do the same thing on your computer. Otherwise they will never do it. When Legislators get a lot of mail on one issue, they usually do pay attention. Yes, wealthy water front homeowners do make political contributions and you don’t. This is the only chance we have

        Reply to Tom
      10. CHARLES F GEAR -  January 29, 2016 - 11:51 pm

        Wait a minute… I thought this issue was resolved a couple of years ago…The ICW is a “Federal” waterway, right? SOFlorida cannot regulate…. what am I missing here?

        Reply to CHARLES
        • Rick Ritchie -  May 20, 2016 - 7:58 pm

          The ICW was officially commissioned by Congress in 1919 (even though Florida began construction decades earlier). The ICW is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, under the command of Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite (2016).

          For the following rant, please forgive my cynicism. I actually know several impeccably honorable representatives. They do not seem to be running the show, unfortunately.

          This issue will, in all likelihood, years from now, come down to a Federal vs Florida jurisdiction argument– a very short argument– with the obvious outcome. Florida legislators know…. or should know… that the passage of this Bill will, ultimately, be found to be in violation of Federal laws. But It seems to be the ‘way of things, now, for legislators to pass obviously illegal laws (so that they can get those donor dollars) and let the courts deal with their legality, later. After all, is it not the primary job of a legislator to cater to their d̶o̶n̶o̶r̶s̶, I mean constituents, regardless of Federal laws, civil rights, reason and logic? Please forgive my cynicism. I actually know several impeccably honorable representatives. They do not seem to be in the majority, unfortunately.

          Perhaps if we got out our wallets and simply out-bid the very small number of squeaky-wheel donors….? “How much would it cost us to kill this, Mr. Caldwell ?” “… Mr. Moraitis?” (Strangely, both Republicans? and one of them a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Say it ain’t so!)

          Rick Ritchie
          Sailor
          Occasional cruiser
          Florida Waterfront resident
          Conservative (but not always Republican)

          Remember, “ask not what your contributions can do for you, ask what you can do for your contributions.”

          Reply to Rick
      11. Mike -  January 29, 2016 - 4:46 pm

        It does appear the winds from the land have now increased to such a strength they will blow every boat out of the designated water areas at nightfall.
        In the past anchoring for weeks or months in a single location was acceptable.
        Today it’s not.
        Florida state owns the land under the waterway and it appears they will bend to the stronger winds.
        Has anyone suggested a compromise to satisfy the landowners and transient boaters?

        Reply to Mike
      12. martin -  January 29, 2016 - 2:59 pm

        No big deal for the plutocrats,They are all at the golf club rooting mr.trump on

        Reply to martin
      13. Capt. Mike Wright -  January 29, 2016 - 2:27 pm

        The rights of mariners once again fall victim to the dollar.
        ” It’s so pretty here with the trees and the water and boats! I think I’ll build a house.” So they cut the trees and claim the water for themselves.
        I’m sure they won’t complain about the “HIGHLANDER” parking overnight.

        Reply to Capt.
      14. Perry Mc -  January 27, 2016 - 11:55 am

        Just heard the bill passed committee 12 Yeas. I have put my Representative on notice she (Stevenson) can forget my vote come re-election. I will work harder than ever to prevent her re-election.
        Perry Mc

        Reply to Perry
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