THIS IS IMPORTANT
I've copied the SSCA notice from Judi Mikam below. FWIW following that message is a note I wrote and sent to my Florida
Senators. Phil, I know you probably are on top of this, but I'm sitting on my behind and getting ready to return north to the boatyard near DC ... any distraction delays leaving paradise ... uh, Florida
Judi has included e-mail addresses of the senator and the senator's aide, who are proposing the amendment. Just locate a couple of other senators from the list and include them in your messages too.
You can get a list of current
<http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/#Senators>. Click the contact info on each one to be bumped to an email
. Copy and paste.
FLORIDA SENATE BILL SB1126
Judi Mkam Today at 3:18 PM
Florida Senator Gwen Margolis, in the Florida Senate appropriations committee forum, is seeking an amendment to Florida Senate bill SB 1126 which will undermine all the good work the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Commission has performed to date with regard to Florida's Anchoring
pilot program (Florida Statute 327.4105).
For the past 4+ years, FWC has met with local Florida Municipalities, Florida County governments, Property owners, Marinas
, boat owners, the Navy
, the Coast Guard, EPA, and Boating
groups and Associations like SSCA. There has been a lot of give and take among all concerned and a lot of work by the 4 or 5 Municipalities who ultimately went forward with pilot programs. The pilot program temporally ended the wild west of anchoring
in Florida, and the variety of pilot programs is giving FWC and others experience on how to best manage this resource.
Because there was so little data collected from the pilot program to date, the FWC and others have not had sufficient time to develop a lasting Florida Statute to codify lessons learned from the pilot program, it was agreed by many, if not all who attended the public forums
, that the best near term action would be to extend the pilot program for another three years. Florida Senate Bill SB1126 was the legislative tool to such an extension.
Florida Senator Gwen Margolis is now seeking to undermine the current
and proposed statute by allowing municipalities to regulate overnight anchoring and to prohibit anchoring of vessels within some unspecified distance from private residences ( Sunset Beach should come to mind....) Your SSCA CCC Chair attended all of the public meetings associated with the implementation of this pilot program and never heard one proposal, recommendation or complaint from any of her constituent Marinas
, Municipalities, or property owners.
While we can all argue for more freedoms in navigation
, including anchoring, the CCC believes the current compromise recognizes most of the needs of all those involved, and the extension associated with SB 1126 is viewed positively in the efforts to establish a long term legislative solution.
SB1126 as Amended is up before the Appropriations Committee tomorrow. The SSCA Concerned Cruisers’ Committee and your Board suggest that you please write to your FL senator as well as Senator Gwen Margolis and her Legislative Aide Zorida Druckman. Their email
If you are a resident of Sen. Margolis’ district a phone
call might help also. 327.4105 as extended by SB1126 isn’t perfect, but it’s MUCH better than nothing and the proposed amendment limits its effectiveness by permitting local officials to again harass visiting cruisers.
Judith R. Mkam
Seven Seas Cruising Association
2501 East Commercial
Blvd., ste 203
, FL 33308
Tel (954) 771-5660
Fax: (954) 771-5662
SAMPLE NOTE TO FORWARD
Under the Florida Senate Bill SB1126, the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Commission has performed very good work to date with the Anchoring and Mooring
Pilot Program (Florida Statute 327.4105). From reports familiar to me, this program was going to be extended for another three years to gather additional experience before a final statute was codified.
I believe the amendment to SB1126 sought by Sen. Gwen Margolis, will undermine the various stakeholders who have worked positively together to best manage Florida's waterways, a remarkable success in light of the political, social and economic divisiveness that seems to infect government
, from local to state to national levels.
The amendment sought by Sen. Margolis in a unilateral action, rejects the successful work thus far by the stakeholders, and permits municipalities to regulate overnight anchoring and to prohibit anchoring of vessels within some unspecified distance from private residences. These actions, which lay at the heart of the confusion and rancor that led to SB1126, shall resurface and shall surely damage and diminish the use of the this Florida treasure, which should be enjoyed by all residents and nonresidents.
Please extend SB1126. Please do not pass the Margolis amendment.