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Old 07-03-2015, 08:05   #46
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

I have had a long, fruitful discussion with BoatUS and they are indeed involved. One comment was that it appears this time around that the Florida legislature is pretty committed to passing some kind of new regulations including a setback. It just isn't clear what the final bill will look like. There is one proposed in the Florida Senate, but none in the House yet. Here is another option we have been floating in the boating community with a lot of positive feedback. The State of Florida receives substantial funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that oversees the Boating Infrastructure Grant program. The state is currently receiving nearly one million dollars. In addition, BoatUS offers grants to states for boating improvement projects. As a group we as boaters might consider starting a petition to ask both of those organizations to withhold any further grants to the state of Florida until it's anti-boater policies are reviewed. This may get someones attention, since politician will take note when money is denied. Just wanted to throw that out there for comment.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:08   #47
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

All: SSCA has been directly and substantially involved in this issue for many months, lobbying through its Concerned Cruisers Committee (CCC). BOAT US and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) have also been involved and are lobbying. SSCA completed a substantial survey of its members some time ago, and has used that survey (basically, NO to residential-only ("view") setbacks, Yes to defining/removing derelict boats) to create a position document as a trifold, while beginning a public campaign among its members and others. Please see an SSCA FB post from this week on this issue. I am on the SSCA CCC, I am a Florida Attorney, I have Florida and Federal Lobbying experience, and I am now a full time live aboard at anchor in Florida. I think Chuck and Susan's ideas are good ones, but this will take direct lobbying support and resources, which at this time are volunteer at SSCA. - John (Jay) Campbell

Phil Johnson's SSCA post about the BRAND NEW (3/3/2015) proposed anchoring restrictions in Florida!

There are storm clouds on the Florida anchoring horizon!
There are storm clouds on the Florida anchoring horizon. Most who are familiar with the developments in recent years of the Florida anchoring drama know that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission solicited the public via meetings and a survey this year. Those recommendations can be found at http://m.myfwc.com/media/2981012/Anc...ve-Summary.pdf
As we come upon the 2015 Florida legislative session, boaters face what some believe will be an uphill battle between legislators who want to establish anchoring setbacks from residential property and pro-boating legislators who want to preserve anchoring options for those who cruise in the state. With Senator Deans filing on 27 February of SB1548, https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1548, the legislative squall is now visible to the boating public and, as currently written, is not a friendly bill to boaters who anchor in Florida waters.
Florida Senate bill SB1548 is still in its early stages and a similar house bill has not yet been offered.
Contained within the bill are the following issues:
In the definition of “safe harbor” there is no consideration for crew incapacitation, time to obtain vessel entrance or clearance statements or time to cure these issues.
It prohibits anchoring within 200 feet of mooring fields, public ramps and other public launch facilities. SSCA believed 75 feet was more appropriate.
It prohibits anchoring within 200 feet of the shore line of developed waterfront property between one hour past sunset and one hour before sun rise. SSCA believes if setbacks are warranted they should be established, keeping the navigation rights of cruisers in mind. It does include prohibitions on anchoring derelict or near-derelict vessels. SSCA viewed this as a positive step in addressing derelict vessels.
It provides for noncriminal infractions, which include fines of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $250 for a third and subsequent offense, and misdemeanors if one fails to respond to citations to appear in court.
SSCA had suggested that anchoring restrictions off private property should be addressed with the following wording: Prohibit the anchoring of vessels within 75 feet of docks and other maritime launching and dockage infrastructure attached thereto and properties with mixed waterfront residential and commercial properties.
Boaters need to prepare to speak up and address upcoming bills that may severely limit anchoring in Florida waters. If you are a registered voter in Florida, please let your representative and the Senate and House Committees know your concerns. If you anchor in Florida, please express your concern to the Florida legislature who will likely have the anchoring issue before them this month. The attached Trifold on Florida anchoring provides phone numbers and email addresses.
http://www.ssca.org/downloads/ccc/SS...g_brochure.pdf
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:30   #48
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

1. Good points regarding the distinction between politics and government. As a former state legislator and federal official, I always caution people to be careful not to characterize your rights to redress with government including your need to make sure that your voice is heard as merely "politics". Makes sense that political activity (including campaigning, campaign fundraising, endorsements of candidates, partisan debates, etc.) should be off-limits on an online forum. I find, and support, this restriction on multiple forums to which I belong. Government and politics are not the same, however. Access to government is not politics. Access to government can BECOME political but it does not need to. If we do not actively engage with government it will strip our rights. If we do not talk about that as a community of like-minded people on forums such as this, then we will not be organized enough to protect against the encroachment of government and the encroachment by our opponents who DO engage. I see who is engaged on this bill here in the Capitol. Those pushing for this restriction are engaged and organized. Those who oppose it are not.

2. Good question regarding federal pre-emption. No, it is not correct to say that a State has no authority to regulate anchoring within their coastal water. They DO. Federal Maritime Law does not pre-empt the States as to this issue. It is true that, in Florida, legislation was adopted in 2009 stating that anchoring and mooring is pre-empted to the State meaning that the LOCAL governments had to stop creating a patchwork of such local ordinances. So the folks that had been pushing those local ordinances are now asking the STATE do make these restrictions apply STATEWIDE. Most of the advocacy for this setback comes from one local area in the Lower East Coast of FL (basically a few condominiums who hired a lobbyist) but, since anchoring is pre-empted to the State, they are left with seeking a remedy in State statute which would then apply statewide.

3. The Marine Manufactures Association is good group. Good folks. I see them in the committee hearings for this bill (and others related to our waterways). They are not, however, taking an active position in opposition to the provision that would exclude anchoring within 200 feet of a dwelling. Neither is Boat U.S. To date, in this legislative session (including the 5 committee weeks prior to the 60-day legislative session and the first week of that session which began Tuesday) ... no organization has waged an organized effort to oppose this provision. I do, however, believe that the SSCA can be effective. They had a presence in FL last year. I recently had a phone conversation with Phillip Johnson. He is clearly a sharp guy and is aware of this legislation. He's made some trips to Tallahassee which is good.

4. Correct, there is currently a Senate Bill filed (1548). It has 3 committees of reference. On the House side there will be a PCB (Proposed Committee Bill) which will serve as the companion. Because it is a PCB, it will easily pass its first committee and, in the absence of organized opposition, will receive only 1 or 2 other committee hearings into which it will enter with momentum and a perception of consensus.

Jerry Paul, Esq.
Tallahassee, FL
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:33   #49
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

... By the way, excellent post by Jay Campbell of SSCA (above).
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:19   #50
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Thank you, Jerry Paul! I don't like to speak much of Anchoring "rights" as it gives the impression the issues are clear, and a lawsuit could ultimately be won. Nothing is clear, and no one wants a lawsuit, and the cost is prohibitive. But, as I understand it (not an expert) there are some precedents regarding waterway public trust rights and rights to navigate, even that anchoring is subsumed within a right to navigate (not the same as a right to anchor for weeks on end). Still, these would seem to be thin bases for a lawsuit.
However, even FWC acknowledged in its original presentations that before a public waterway "right" (very much in quotes) can be infringed, the state should have to show not only why the right is being abridged, but that the public is being better-served, and that other methods have been explored and found lacking. This is why (my opinion only) FWC conflated residential "view" set offs with residential docking infrastructure setoffs. They can make a safety and/or property rights case for docking infrastructure. But no attempt has been made to do the same for a regulation that merely preserves the view of a few wealthy waterfront landowners. None.
It would be nice to think this means boaters would ultimately win, but that, for practical and political reasons, isn't the case. It seems to me the strongest argument is to cull out the "view only" setback and approve most of the rest, especially regarding derelict boats, and hammer the south Florida folks for taking away anchoring for everyone just to preserve the view of a very few, especially if derelict boats are "fixed." But if BOAT US and NMMA won't get behind that, it will likely fail.
Can a thousand boaters, well organized, mount a credible opposition to this proposal, turning northern and central lawmakers against their Miami and Ft. Lauderdale legislator friends? Sure. Very hard to do with strictly volunteers, though, and time is short. - John (Jay) Campbell, JD
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:23   #51
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Go join the SSCA folks. They have a lobbiest working his tail off to see that this is voted down...the $55 membership is worth this issue alone to protect anchoring rights. Because you know when they are gone....they won't be coming back except for expensive lawsuits!
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:54   #52
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Go join the SSCA folks. They have a lobbiest working his tail off to see that this is voted down...the $55 membership is worth this issue alone to protect anchoring rights. Because you know when they are gone....they won't be coming back except for expensive lawsuits!
...join the SSCA folks




I will be joining on Monday, despite my anti-herd disposition. I encourage others to do the same.

On Monday the letters will start to be sent.

On the whole, I don't have very good feelings about our chances, but I will do my part.

Redsky49, currently cruising Florida
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Old 07-03-2015, 14:20   #53
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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...join the SSCA folks
That does sound like the best idea, yet.
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Old 07-03-2015, 14:38   #54
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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Originally Posted by PrivateerAnthem View Post
3. The Marine Manufactures Association is ... not, however, taking an active position in opposition to the provision that would exclude anchoring within 200 feet of a dwelling. Neither is Boat U.S.
I'm not surprised at MMA. They don't really have a horse in this race. And their interests are probably betters served by high dockage rates.

I'd like to hear more about Boat US's position (or lack thereof). It seems at odds with their mission, and their claims to support boaters.

I have been a long-time Boat US member, but I would certainly consider redirecting my support (and money) to the SSCA.
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Old 07-03-2015, 20:38   #55
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Money Talks, when I was working in the banking industry, I pulled a report daily of money moved out; A banks biggest fear. All those folks protesting in DC "Occupy Wall street" had to do was to close their bank accounts and move their money to a credit union, again, a banks biggest fear!
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Old 07-03-2015, 22:18   #56
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Before too many more years, the water in Florida will have gone up enough that there won't be any private dry land property. We will be able to anchor in downtown Miami. High water raises all boats, but doesn't do much for duplexes. Mac
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Old 09-03-2015, 13:55   #57
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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I'd like to hear more about Boat US's position (or lack thereof). It seems at odds with their mission, and their claims to support boaters.
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See the first sentence of post #46 above.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:23   #58
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

See Mike Ahart's article in Waterway Guide, showing most if not all anchorages in South Florida disappear with this proposed law. Will many Florida anchorages be a thing of the past? located in Gulf Coast - Florida | Waterway Guide News Update
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:46   #59
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

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This is interesting information, but the rules of the forum prohibit political activities. Traditional lobbying efforts on behalf of cruisers in Tallahassee have been the Seven Seas Cruising Association and Boat US. I am surprised that neither of these groups seems to have gotten their act together on this yet. I have already written my representatives to oppose this bill. It's interesting to see that the condo commando's are now targeting Canadians.
Actually discussion of politics is within the rules of this forum as long as that discussion pertains to issues that directly affect cruising and/or sailing.

There's no question that this affects cruisers and sailors, and therefore is allowed within the context of our rules.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:40   #60
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Re: Anchoring restrictions introduced in Florida bill

Please be assured that both SSCA's Concerned Cruisers Committee (SSCA CCC) and BoatUS indeed are VERY engaged on this issue and have been for several years. Since we successfully defeated hostile amendments from last years bills we expected this might happen and have prepared a response. For details please check the SSCA Website's CCC section (on the home page). Our lobbyists are indeed working on this issue every day and are working very closely with BoatUS.

Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association

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