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Speak Up Now to Protect Public Access to Florida Waterways

The Florida Legislature passed legislation that would ban overnight anchoring in sections of Biscayne Bay.  The sponsors of this proposal need to hear from boaters nationwide that this is the wrong way to manage our shared waterways.

Where and for how long boats can anchor in Florida has been an ongoing policy debate for over a decade. While BoatU.S. recognizes problems with derelict and at-risk vessels remaining anchored for indefinite periods of time, outright bans on anchoring are not an appropriate way to deal with these issues.

Florida Bills SB 192/HB 437 will:

  • Prohibit overnight anchoring in specific areas of Biscayne Bay, including some important anchorage used by cruising boaters waiting on weather windows to cross the Gulf Stream.
  • Overrides other waterway management options that strike a balance between keeping areas open for all boating activities while still providing options for overnight anchoring.
  • Will institute a policy of using state laws to manage waterways without providing any options for active, responsible cruising boaters.

Florida's legislators need to hear from cruising boaters that this is the wrong way to manage the state's public waterways. Using state laws to ban anchoring in specific areas is a terrible precedent and would be replicated in many other areas.

BoatU.S. will deliver your message asking Florida legislators on keeping the public waterways public.   

Petition Text

Don't try to solve the abandoned and derelict vessel issue on the backs of responsible boat owners.

Florida Senate Bill 192 and Florida House 437 were the wrong way to manage Florida's waterways.  Creating special rules that benefit a few waterfront homeowners while denying access to the public waterways is bad policy.

Active, responsible cruising boaters bring millions in economic benefits to Florida.  The ability to safely anchor to rest and wait for clear weather is a fundamental part of what attracts so many to South Florida.

The state and local governments need to do more to address derelict and at-risk vessels instead of just telling all boaters to go away.

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