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    • What Georgia Stands to Lose, reprinted from Waterway Guide

      Our thanks to Waterway Editor, Ed Tillett, for permitting Cruisers Net to publish this article from Waterway Guide’s weekly newsletter.

      Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series of timely updates and insights on an issue critical to both cruisers and Georgia residents that is being researched and covered by Waterway Guide Editor-In-Chief, Ed Tillett. We will continue to keep readers informed via our news website, newsletter and on Facebook. 

      The public comment period has ended for some provisions of Georgia’s new laws related to anchoring and securing a permit to stay overnight on boats in its coastal waters. The state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is tallying the results. What impact the comments, emails and phone calls to DNR will have on the state’s handling of this issue remains to be seen.

      When House Bill 201 (HB201) was signed into law on May 7, 2020, resident and visiting boaters, and boating interest groups,  realized that they had been left out of the conversation about problems the state was attempting to correct. By the time the legislature passed HB201 it was too late to adjust. Now there is focused interest on revising some of the provisions of the new law. Conversations are ongoing and meetings are being held to refine everyone’s understanding of the regulations. Regardless, the law is in effect and becomes enforceable on January 1, 2020.

      This is a complicated issue to unravel due to the language and intent of HB201, what the law requires of DNR, and the history of how Georgia has defined and dealt with “live-aboard” vessels. From the analysis conducted by boating interests since the new law’s passage, there appears to be a misunderstanding on the state’s part of how extended and weekend cruising vessels should be classified, and what the state stands to lose if those boaters are reluctant to visit.

      Georgia has one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in America. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) that runs along the coast of Georgia is a marine highway used by thousands of vessels each year. An overarching concern by many marinas and coastal communities is that the new laws will discourage boating activity due to unreasonable oversight, additional costs and heightened enforcement aimed at residents and visitors.

      Short of a dedicated and expensive survey, there are no substantive numbers available to define the economic impact of boaters who transit the state or visit their vessels for weekend pleasure or extended vacations. There are published estimates and overall figures associated with boating in the state from industry groups that may put into perspective the value of vessels on the water.

      • The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that $4.3 billion in economic activity, 638 businesses and 15,000 jobs are tied to boating. There are 322,000 registered vessels in Georgia and the state’s residents spent $632 million on new boats, trailers, engines and accessories in 2018.
      • There are 30 marinas, 17 service facilities, 43 identified anchorages and 15 fuel docks along the AICW of Georgia. Many local economies such as Savannah, Thunderbolt, Wilmington Island, Sunbury, Darien, St. Simon’s Island, Brunswick, Jekyll Island, and St. Mary’s cater to transiting and weekend boaters. (WG Explorer)
      • An unconfirmed survey indicates that the average transiting vessel spends $85 per stopover. With 76% spending $25-$100, 96% spending $25-$200, and 4% spending in excess of $200. These numbers appear reasonable to anyone who has spent time cruising the AICW.

      Whether boats will bypass Georgia on their way north or south due to concern or outrage over the new regulations remains to be seen. Weekend trips by residents and locals will be affected only by their reluctance to deal with new laws. Either way, the recent passage of the regulations has disappointed residents, visitors and business owners alike who were surprised by the state’s handling of what it says are too many derelict and abandoned vessels, and irresponsible full-time residents living on boats.

      Extended cruisers and local residents who spend weeks throughout the year on their boats exploring America’s waterways value their lifestyle and independence. Georgia’s new laws will add another layer of requirements and oversight on to responsible boaters who will now be required to show no harm with several of the provisions. The cost of this action by the state may not be readily measured in economic terms, but the price of negative public relations appears to be mounting for Georgia.

      View location on the Waterway Guide Explorer

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      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Mike McMahon -  July 19, 2019 - 4:39 pm

        I also contacted state official re: this law and how truly ridiculous it is. My new boat will be docked in SC and I am planning on numerous trips both north and south along the ICW. I anchor out but also use marinas so my expenses for slip fees, fuel, maintenance, entertainment/restaurants, etc. will now be spent in other locations.

        Reply to Mike
      2. Kermit Ruegamer -  July 19, 2019 - 2:28 pm

        I did take the time to comment, even receiving a reply from the "committee."
        Upon reading the results of the vote and signing by the Governor ; I replied to the committee that I would avoid GA this year and just go outside, it's easier anyway.
        I also will not be storing my boat for 6 months in New Brunswick Marina this coming year.
        So, they will conservatively cost themselves at least $10,000 in storage fees and all the little items like maintenance work ..always multiple $K.
        Counting our numerous stops along the way,marinas, fuel etc. Let's add another 3-5K and that's one boater.
        Perfect example of government not understanding the problem and plowing ahead anyway.

        Reply to Kermit
    • NAV ALERT: LNM: AICW Light 191 Destroyed, Coosaw River, SC Statute Mile 530


      ICW light 191 marks the southern western shoulder of the Waterway’s passage through the Coosaw River.

      SOUTH CAROLINA –AICW – CASINO CREEK TO BEAUFORT RIVER – COOSAW RIVER: Hazard to Navigation
      Coosaw River Light 191 (LLNR 35265) reported destroyed and partially submerged. The remains of the pile poses a hazard to navigation. Chart 11518 LNM 29/19

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    • LNM: Daybeacon 29 Destroyed, Key Largo, FL


      Daybeacon 29 is on the eastern side of Key Largo.

      FLORIDA – MIAMI TO MARATHON AND FLORIDA BAY – HAWK CHANNEL: Hazard to Navigation
      Key Largo Daybeacon 29 (LLNR 11495) reported destroyed. The steel pile wreckage is marked with a TRLB WR29 displaying Fl Q G, 4NM characteristics. Chart 11451 LNM 29/19

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    • LNM: Naval Operations, August 21-24, 26-28, Key West, FL


      Hopefully more details will follow in future Local Notices.

      STRAITS OF FLORIDA – NAVAL OPERATIONS
      Naval operations will be conducted in Key West on August 21-24, 26-28, 2019 between the hours of 9:30am until 6:00pm, coordinates listed below. For more, contact USCG Sector Key West, Waterways Management Division at (305) 292-8768 or email SKWWaterways@uscg.mil
      24 00N 80 56W
      24 33N 80 55W
      24 43N 79 41W
      24 18N 79 23W
      24 00N 79 51W

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    • AIWA Registration Now Open for Annual Meeting in November

      Cruisers Net is proud to be a member of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association whose lobbying work is crucial to keeping the Waterway navigable. Your membership dollars directly impact their vital work. Please join and encourage your boating neighbors to do likewise, regardless of their homeport.

      Dear Supporters and Friends of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association,

      Greetings and I hope this email finds everyone well. I am writing today to announce the opening of online registration for the AIWA’s 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Savannah, GA on November 21-22, 2019. We will be meeting at The DeSoto Hotel and are thrilled to be celebrating 20 years as the Unified Voice for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). While our agenda is under development, we look forward to inviting our federal and non-federal partners to engage with our members and stakeholders along the AIWW. We would love to hear of any subject of interest to you and if you have someone in mind who could address the topic so we can meet your expectations.  If not, we will track someone down who can address the issue!

      We invite you to visit our conference website and share with others who will want to join us this Novemberhttps://atlanticintracoastal.org/annual-meeting

      To reserve a room at The DeSoto, please visit www.thedesotosavannah.com and enter Group Code: AIW or call (800) 239-5118.

      We have exhibit and sponsorship opportunities available. If you would like to learn more, please send me an email to aiwa@atlanticintracoastal.net or simply reply to this message.

      Once again, thank you for your support and being a partner of the AIWA.

      Brad

      Brad Pickel

      Executive Director, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

      5A Market, Beaufort, SC 29906

      (843) 379-1151

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    • LNM: ATON Changes, Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, NC


      The Coast Guard working to keep you safe! 

      1. THE FOLLOWING AIDS TO NAVIGATION CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE.
      A. HATTERAS INLET CHANNEL DAYBEACON 17A (LLNR 28755) HAS BEEN CHANGED TO HATTERAS INLET CHANNEL WARNING DAYBEACON C (LLNR 28755) WITH NW DAYBOARDS WORDED DANGER SHOAL.
      B. HATTERAS INLET CHANNEL BUOY 17A (LLNR 28756) HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN APPROX POSITION 35-12-10.410N, 075-43-30.097W (35°12.1735N / 075°43.5016W, 35.202892 / -75.725027) .
      C. HATTERAS INLET CHANNEL BUOY 19A (LLNR 28765.1) HAS BEEN RE-ESTABLISHED AND RELOCATED TO APPROX POSIT 35-12-19.162N 075-43-15.036W (35°12.3194N / 075°43.2506W, 35.205323 / -75.720843) .
      D. HATTERAS INLET CHANNEL DAYBEACON 23 (LLNR 28775) HAS BEEN RE-ESTABLISHED AND RELOCATED TO APPROX POSITION 35-12-52.594N,075-42-36.295W (35°12.8765N / 075°42.6049W, 35.214609 / -75.710082) AND IS MARKED
      WITH A TRUB.

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    • LNM: Lighted Buoys Relocated, Bogue Inlet, near NC AICW Statute Mile 227


      These uncharted inlet buoys would be on you port side on entering the inlet.

      1. THE FOLLOWING AIDS TO NAVIGATION HAVE BEEN RELOCATED.

      A. BOGUE INLET LIGHTED BUOY 1 (LLNR 29495) TO APPROX POSIT 34-38-04.009N, 077-05-57.008W (34°38.0668N / 077°5.9501W, 34.634447 / -77.099169) TO MARK BEST WATER.

      A. BOGUE INLET BUOY 5 (LLNR 29515) TO APPROX POSIT 34-38-22.978N 077-06-04.868W (34°38.3830N / 077°6.0811W, 34.639716 / -77.101352) TO MARK BEST WATER

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    • Georgia Still Grappling with Anchoring Issues by Ed Tillett

      Our thanks to Ed Tillett, editor of Waterway Guide, for permitting us to post his excellent article outlining the issues in Georgia’s HB 201 legislation dealing anchoring along the Georgia Waterway.

       

      Increasing criticism and confusion continues over Georgia’s new regulations for boaters who want to spend the night on their vessels. Following a public hearing in Brunswick on June 17, 2019, boating groups and industry representatives have expressed strong opinions that the new laws scheduled to go into effect in January are not necessary and the most restrictive in the United States.

      At the core of the issue is how Georgia defines “live-aboard vessels” and where and when those vessels may anchor in the state’s coastal waters. There are additional regulations for requiring a permit to anchor, proof of pumping out holding tanks and criminal offenses for non-compliance.

      Georgia-based marinas are also affected by the new laws, which are the result of passage of House Bill 201 (HB201) in the last session of the state’s General Assembly. Citing increased problems from derelict and abandoned vessels, and irresponsible boaters dumping untreated waste into the state’s waterways, the legislation purportedly was crafted to address those concerns. No empirical evidence has been offered by the state to support these issues.

      Charlie Waller of Isle of Hope Marina says, “Unfortunately, the bad press from this bill is overshadowing some really creative work going on right now by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia DNR who are making some of the most significant improvements to the state’s Intracoastal Waterway that we have seen in many years, such as dredging the channel near Jekyll Creek and other problem areas.”

      Boaters are aiming their disapproval of the new laws across member forums, social media platforms and in blogs. The six distinct issues causing alarm are:

      • The unclear and ill-defined label of “live-aboard vessels”
      • Directing Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources to designate where boats may anchor versus where they cannot
      • Restating provisions of the Clean Water Act specific to holding tank regulations
      • Requiring boaters and marinas to create and maintain logs of when and where their vessels’ holding tanks were pumped clean
      • Creating a permit and possible fee structure that vessels must apply for prior to anchoring
      • Rolling up all the new laws into a criminal offense for non-compliance if cited and convicted

      Discussions continue with Georgia DNR representatives who have taken the lead on evaluating comments from public hearings and submissions. While already signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp, another round of discussions may be forthcoming in the weeks ahead with industry representatives to assess the regulations and consider options for revisions.

      Ed Tillett

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