The following is a letter that Jay Campbell wrote to FWC to response to the anchor
debate that is taking place in a Florida
. Excellent points.
Thanks to Wally Moran and Sail Magazine, and Mike Ahart at WaterwayGuide, for engaging in this fight. Also thanks to Wally for quoting me in his excellent article. Here is the full text of my response to Florida's FWC. Feel free to use. - Jay
Gary Klein, FWC
From: John R. (Jay) Campbell, JD,
I am a Florida Licensed Attorney, with over 25 years of practice in the State. I have owned many residential properties, including waterfront property in Tampa, as recently as 2013 when my wife and I moved full time on to our boat
in Palmetto. We reside at a Marina, but often cruise
Southwest Florida and Southeast Florida, anchoring
as is prudent, dictated by weather
, tide, travel schedules and the need to rest.
I have read and completely oppose the proposed FWC restrictions on anchoring in "concept 2" related to establishing setbacks from residential property. These proposals seem designed to benefit only a few wealthy landowners at the expense of the public's right to use and enjoy these waters, as established by the federal public trust. The proposals do NOT set forth any concerns or problems the proposals are designed to address, nor do they note any review done by the FWC to ensure the setbacks are a reasonable response to any such problems. Therefore, the proposed setbacks are not reasonable encroachment of the public rights, and are illegal.
Regarding the set back proposals, I note the following in support of all boaters, and voters, who also oppose these proposed restrictions:
1. Where are the studies FWC has done or reviewed to support the proposed 150' or 300' anchoring set backs?
2. Where are the concerns, set out in writing, that FWC is attempting to address with these setbacks?
3. Where are the legal
opinions that these proposed setbacks are lawful, and not an illegal encroachment on the federal regulation of waterways as a public trust?
4. If the concern is derelict boats, or stored boats, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern, rather than prohibit EVERY boat
5. If the concern is the potential discharge of sewage, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern, rather than prohibit EVERY boat from anchoring?
6. If the concern is a reasonable amount of unencumbered room for landowners to use near their docks and access channels, why doesn't the proposal state so, and tailor a proposal to this more narrow concern (for example, using a common standard of 1 1/2 times boat length from the protected structure) rather than prohibit EVERY boat from anchoring?
7. Regarding the proposal to return regulation, in part, back to small local governments, why does this proposal suggest that FWC should administer a program which will allow every municipality to apply for and create it's own anchoring rules, thereby turning Florida into a patchwork quilt of regulations
without a sound basis, or statewide enforcement?
The proposals seem to be unlawful, poorly thought out, against the interest of Florida citizens who are boaters, against the interests of Florida businesses which cater to boaters, and in support of ONLY a few wealthy landowners, represented by legislators who control the FWC funding
. This is not how laws and regulations
should be developed and implemented to support the public interest. - Jay Campbell, JD