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For immediate release: November 4, 2009

Contact: Tara Alford, 850-410-0656, ext. 17169

Apply now to work with FWC on anchoring regulations

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, wants to work with city and county governments on the best way to regulate boats that anchor outside of permitted mooring fields.

Currently, local ordinances for anchoring are unenforceable outside of mooring field boundaries.

The FWC is collecting letters of interest until Nov. 13 from those local governments that have an interest in establishing mooring ordinances. Of those governments, the FWC will choose five locations throughout the state to participate in a pilot program. The five sites will be selected prior to July 1, 2011.

Under the pilot program, the FWC will work with the selected local governments, who may establish and enforce FWC-approved mooring ordinances outside of a mooring field. The program does not include ordinances for live-aboard vessels.

“We want to engage all local governments to consider this,” said Maj. Paul Ouellette, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “It is important to promote boating rights and accessibility, but it is also important to protect the marine environment and maritime property, and reduce the number of abandoned or derelict vessels. We hope this pilot program will help us shape uniform and consistent regulatory regimes that do not overburden the recreational boater.”

The FWC will submit a report on the pilot program to the governor and Legislature by Jan. 1, 2014.

A mooring field is an area of water set aside with delineated boundaries marked with permitted uniform waterway markers. It must have permitted mooring buoys in which boats are required to attach, in lieu of dropping an anchor.

For more information on the mooring program, visit http://www.myfwc.com/recreation/boat_AnchoringPilotProgram.htm, or send inquiries to [email protected]