Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Florida Plans Anchoring Bill, Sun Setting For Cruisers

The Florida legislature is considering a bill which will restrict anchoring near residences and commercial structures.  The bill will allow wealthy landowners to stop sailboats from "restricting their views".

An urgent appeal was sent via one of the sailing Internet threads which reads as follows:

"Florida's Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government heard Senate Bill 1548 today. This legislation would prohibit overnight anchoring on navigable water near private residences and public marine infrastructure, exception certain circumstances, among other less-contentious provisions. Despite strong support from the cruising community, the committee voted favorably for the bill.
Eleven bills were on the 2-hour session's agenda, including contentious legislation related to fracking. Due to time constraints, only two attendees who petitioned the committee to speak were able to.
Over a dozen cruisers attended the hearing, as well as a morning Florida House hearing on a related bill at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. House Bill 7123 – At-Risk Vessels had no anchoring restrictions for or vessels that are neither considered "derelict" or at risk of becoming derelict, but, last night, an amendment was introduced to the bill which would have aligned with the anchoring restrictions in Senate Bill 1548. Several cruisers and cruising advocates spoke. The amendment was withdrawn, and the "At-Risk Vessel" bill passed unanimously without the amendment."

The problem is, wealthy land owners have a lot of pull with legislators while cruisers, who are sometimes seasonal, have a difficult time expressing their views.  Legislators tend to discount their testimony because they don't see these sailors as having the ability to organize.

This is a classic battle between two major interests:  Those who have a great deal and want it for themselves, and those who have very little and want only a tiny piece.

Glenn Tuttle, a long time cruiser, said in a news flash:

Not good news cruisers. We really need to rally together to do whatever needs to be done to defeat this bill, or at least get the Setback amendment stricken from the bill. The 200 foot setback amendment would virtually eliminate most anchorages in South Florida. Do your part by supporting and funding the Concerned Cruisers Committee of the SSCA. Go to SSCA.org or more information. This really is a big deal folks, and could impact our cruising as we now know it. Also, if such restrictive legislature is passed in Florida, be assured other states with anti-boaters will jump on the bandwagon.

Glenn Tuttle - Moderator
Cruisers Network Online
M/V Tothill
Ft Lauderdale

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you think! Everyone has a point of view and yours counts!