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Old 31-05-2019, 07:56   #1
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New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

Via Great Loop Cruising Association and SSCA:

The State of Georgia has passed a bill that restricts anchoring and adds some requirements for boaters regarding their marine sanitation systems.

It appears this will mean some new requirements for cruisers, such as keeping logs of pumps outs in Georgia and securing the black water discharge valves, similar to what is currently required in the Great Lakes and Canada. It will also restrict where you can anchor and require you to obtain a permit in order to anchor overnight. Please read below or view the attached bill for more specifics.

At this point in the process, Georgia DNR has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to start the process of implementing this new law. Details can be found here. They are suggesting a nominal fee for anchoring permits, with permits obtained in a number of ways including online. No information is included on what areas will be designated as anchoring areas, other than a notice that those area will be posted on the DNR website.

This is the most restrictive anchoring law I've seen pass. Thankfully, for those cruising on the inside, the AICW through Georgia is less than 150 miles. SSCA will participate in the process for the notice of proposed rulemaking as DNR works on implementation. We will let members know what assistance is needed as we continue analyzing the new law and it's proposed implementation. In the meantime, if anyone has followed the evolution of this bill or has any additional information, please contact me.

The highlights of the bill are:

-The Board of Natural Resources is authorized to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relating to
overnight or long-term anchoring within the estuarine areas of this state to include the establishment of an anchorage permit.

-The Department of Natural Resources is authorized to establish anchorage areas within the estuarine areas of this state as well as areas where anchoring is not allowed.

-It shall be unlawful for any person to dock or anchor at night any vessel within the estuarine areas of this state unless it is in an anchorage area established by the department and in compliance with all rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to this Code section or at an eligible facility. Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit short-term anchoring for fishing or similar activities, nor shall it prohibit the owner of a vessel from docking at a private recreational dock or noneligible facility so long as such vessel is not utilized as a live-aboard vessel.

-It shall be unlawful to operate or float any live-aboard vessel within the estuarine areas of this state, whether anchored in an anchorage area or at an eligible facility, which has located within or on such vessel a Type I, Type II, or Type III Marine Sanitation Device, as defined in 33 C.F.R. 159, unless such device has a secured mechanism which is constructed and installed in such a manner that it can be emptied only by pumping out to prevent discharge of treated and untreated sewage or is equipped with a holding tank, as
such term is defined in Code Section 52-7-3. Examples of secured mechanisms considered to be effective at preventing discharges include, but are not limited to, closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire tie, or removing the seacock handle with the seacock in the closed position.

-Persons operating or floating live-aboard vessels with marine toilets and subject to the requirements of this Code section shall create and maintain for at least one year after creation records which indicate the name and location of pump-out facilities used and the dates of such use. Persons who own or operate pump-out facilities shall also create a record and maintain, for at least one year after creation, records which indicate the name and vessel registration number, the date of pump-out, and verification of pump-out for each vessel for which pump-out services are performed.
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Old 31-05-2019, 10:53   #2
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

The only time you can feel safe is when the legislators are not in session. Sounds like tons of paperwork and an army of bureaucrats to keep someone from anchoring in front of some influential persons waterfront vacation rental.
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Old 31-05-2019, 14:40   #3
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New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

I wonder if they have adopted Floridaís definition of ďlive aboard vesselĒ
If they have, then it would make this a whole lot less restrictive to a Cruiser, but I bet they havenít, and even if they have I bet JIm Bob the local Sheriffís Deputy doesnít know the difference.
Iím from Georgia, I can call them JIm Bobs etc. I grew up with them
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:01   #4
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

That's a ridiculous amount of record-keeping, and also seems pretty restrictive in terms of anchoring, if I'm reading it right.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:09   #5
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

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That's a ridiculous amount of record-keeping, and also seems pretty restrictive in terms of anchoring, if I'm reading it right.


The whole intent in my opinion is to make it so egregious that you go away, and donít come back, mission accomplished and you get to wrap it around the pretense itís all to protect Nature and our beloved Marsh.
I can imagine trying to get said permit, unless itís online and even then It may be difficult.
You have a printer on board donít you?

The of course there is always the old standby, you know the 4 AM inspection if you donít leave?

I tried for a couple of years to get tickets to a space launch before the shuttle got retired, I want to see it myself and take the kids.
Itís easy, they are sold online. Just you canít get one, I tried many times starting at the exact second GPS time they went on sale, a few seconds early etc. never could buy a single ticket.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:12   #6
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

From reading the new anchoring law in Georgia, it's basically a Money Grab. You can anchor all you want, you just have to pay for the privilege.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:16   #7
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New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

I went to the contact page of Brunswick Landing Marina and sent them a message this morning. I told them that we had stayed there for months for a couple of different years (all true) and that we loved the place, but with the new laws coming into effect that I was afraid to travel through Gaís waters, and unless that is solved we were going to have to stay away.
Iím sure Iím not alone, and that Iím afraid this may severely hurt Michales business at the Marina as many are concerned enough to bypass Ga, like we used to in the past.

For those that donít know Michael Torres owns the Marina, I believe it was a gift from his very wealthy Grandfather that I think made some of his money from developing St. Simons and other islands. I donít know which ones, but the bridge to one of them is named after him etc.

Anyway he has to be very well connected with the Government and I hope he doesnít want to see his gift to his Grandson go under or lose money.
I figure it couldnít hurt.

I know Michael watches Social Media and I assume those messages very closely.
Read some of the Active Capt reviews, he jumps right on negative reviews.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:28   #8
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

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From reading the new anchoring law in Georgia, it's basically a Money Grab. You can anchor all you want, you just have to pay for the privilege.


I didnít read it that way, I read it that you could only anchor in yet to be named anchorages, and then only with a permit, and you had to keep records for one year of where you pumped out and when, which I donít often do, we go out three miles and I hit the macerator switch.

Which if I read correctly itís not allowed to have a system that can be emptied by any means other than being pumped out.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:30   #9
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New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

One of the first things the bill will establish if passed is that the DNR has the right to ban anchoring, control it and determine when and were you can anchor.
Wording isnít right, but they want that put into law first, then they can do anything they want, without asking permission from anyone.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:32   #10
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

I agree with SailorChic - my reading is that this seems to have little practical effect beyond now paying $5/night to anchor anywhere in Georgia.

This is quite a step beyond Florida where it's still free to anchor with the exception of a few mooring fields. That is really no different than the long time practice in New England where most harbors are packed with moorings such that there's no room to anchor (and it is prohibited by the harbor master except maybe in some distant corner)

If the CG and courts lets them get away with it (doubtful), they'll raise the fee step by step to maybe between $20 and $50 a night. Unlike Florida this isn't driven by rich people's million dollar views. The holding tank stuff seems a smokescreen as most of that has been in place for years but not enforced.

They want the money.
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Old 31-05-2019, 15:35   #11
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New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

No, you can now anchor anywhere you like along the ICW.
New law if passed says you can anchor only in yet to be named anchorages, and I wouldnít be surprised to find they are few and far between and call and your told they are full, move on, donít stop.

The real scary part is if it passes then it gives the DNR compete control of anchoring.

That I would hope the USCG will hopefully take issue with.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:42   #12
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

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... New law if passed ...
... if it passes ...
It passed, Governor signed May/07/2019, Effective Date Jan/01/2020.
HB 201 ➥ HB*201*2019-2020 Regular Session

Georgia proposes to restrict anchoring.. - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 01-06-2019, 16:15   #13
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

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No, you can now anchor anywhere you like along the ICW.
New law if passed says you can anchor only in yet to be named anchorages, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find they are few and far between and call and your told they are full, move on, don’t stop.

The real scary part is if it passes then it gives the DNR compete control of anchoring.

That I would hope the USCG will hopefully take issue with.

I hope so.

I always wonder who is behind these initiatives. The cruising community may need to get their act together, as cruising rights are absolutely affected when states do what is essentially a land grab for control of cruising areas.

Not unlike what beachfront condo owners are doing in Walton County, Florida, where they've suddenly decided that it's not OK for people to walk on their beaches.
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Old 01-06-2019, 16:28   #14
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

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The only time you can feel safe is when the legislators are not in session. Sounds like tons of paperwork and an army of bureaucrats to keep someone from anchoring in front of some influential persons waterfront vacation rental.
Yep, somebody wrote some big checks.
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Old 01-06-2019, 16:34   #15
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Re: New cruising restrictions in Georgia (USA)

These aren't cruising restrictions, these are camping out on the water in Georgia for extended periods restrictions. Depending on how you cruise and what you expect, this may be a plus or a minus for your cruising experience. On the water squatters and people who violate no discharge rules do not improve my cruising experience. The fact that some people ignore virtually all on the water rules is making most jurisdictions more restrictive. And who do you have to thank for that? Mostly irresponsible boaters, I'd say.
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