(Mike Ahart of the Waterway Guide asked us to pass along the news that the Florida legislature is considering legislation today, which, depending on geography and local political attitudes, could prevent anchoring all together in places.)
Well...I was wrong. I didn't think that another amendment would be introduced at the eleventh hour of the Florida legislative session to scuttle our anchoring rights in Florida. But...here it is.
Senator Christopher Smith of Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale and environs) has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 1126 (House Bill 955) to circumvent the entire FWC Anchoring/Mooring Pilot Program by allowing any municipality not participating in the program to determine any minimum distance boaters can anchor from every private residence. Passage of this amendment would not only make knowing where in Florida overnight anchoring is allowed an impossible task, but could effectively eliminate legal anchoring in nearly all of the state.
From the amendment: "...A local government that is not participating in a pilot program pursuant to statute 327.4105 may regulate the distance from a private residence that a vessel may anchor overnight."If this amendment were to pass (and it may very well pass, since it now includes nearly all municipalities, instead of just Broward and Miami-Dade), it will be a crap-shoot to anchor in Florida – and every "Barney Fife" on the water will be gunning for us "law-breakers," just like it was several years ago.
Please, and especially if you are a Florida resident (even if you "live" in Green Cove Springs), send a message to your senator tonight and get your voice heard. We are quite weary of these last-minute shenanigans.
Please find your legislator, and send a message to them.
...And, please pass this along to you cruising friends. Thanks!