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New boating safety zones, signs in Palm Beach County

For immediate release: March 15, 2011
Contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

New boating safety zones, signs in Palm Beach County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin installing signs this week marking new boating safety zones on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Palm Beach County. The new zones are 300 feet north and south of the following bridges: Southern Boulevard, Lake Worth Road, Woolbright Road, George Bush Boulevard, Spanish River Boulevard and Palmetto Park Road.

The new zones require that boats operate at either “slow speed, minimum wake” or “idle speed, no wake.” Slow speed, minimum wake requires that boats are fully off plane, completely settled in the water and making little or no wake. Idle speed, no wake requires that boats operate at the slowest possible speed to maintain forward movement and control of the vessel. The work will begin this week, and completion is expected by the end of June.

“It’s important to slow down vessel traffic in areas where public safety is a concern, and this project is aimed at protecting the safety of the boating public,” said Capt. David Schaeffer, of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Clearly marked zones improve operator compliance.”

This is the second phase of the project to mark the new zones created by Florida Administrative Code Rule 68D-24.017. The first phase of the project marked a zone on the ICW from the Donald Ross Road Bridge south to the Parker Bridge in North Palm Beach.

The project also includes work to repair or replace existing signs that have been damaged by storms, deteriorated from age or in disrepair due to vandalism. In addition, signs that display incorrect regulatory information will be either removed or replaced, and some markers will be relocated in and around the state-adopted boating restricted areas.

For boating regulations, maps and more information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating.