BoatUS urges veto of Florida anchoring carve out

Allowing a select few to carve out their own special anchoring restrictions, and bypassing a pilot program designed to provide practical, uniform anchoring regulations statewide is a mistake, said BoatUS President Margaret Bonds Podlich in a letter sent Tuesday to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

BoatUS is asking the Governor to veto House Bill 1051, which would ban the overnight anchoring of boats in three specific areas of South Florida, providing special privileges to these select areas.

“BoatUS believes that creating special carve outs directly counters the years of effort that have gone into developing rational statewide anchoring regulations,” Podlich wrote

“For many boat owners one of the joys of boating is to travel to new places, drop anchor, dock or pick up a mooring and then spend time and money exploring the local community. Prior to 2009, boats cruising Florida faced a hodge-podge of inconsistent local anchoring rules that made boaters feel very unwelcome in some of the state’s waters. We heard from many of our members who found communities whose ordinances banned or severely limited anchoring in their jurisdictions.”

“BoatUS actively supported the 2009 legislation to create the Florida Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program and thereafter we worked with all five of the local jurisdictions as they developed their ordinances.”

The BoatUS President highlighted Pilot Program provisions designed to promote the use of mooring fields, promote public access, enhance navigational safety, protect maritime infrastructure and the marine environment, and to deter improperly stored, abandoned, or derelict vessels.

“We remain firmly convinced the Pilot Program can provide some elements that local governments might use to manage their waterways while still allowing a full range of mooring and anchoring options for active cruising boaters. Local governments throughout the state have patiently waited for a balanced approach, one that will emerge in 2017 from the Pilot Program results,” added Podlich.

“Enactment of House Bill 1051 – with its provisions of special exceptions when it comes to overnight anchoring in three very specific areas of the state – is directly counter to all the time, effort and financial resources that have gone into creating anchoring rules that are fair to everyone.”

The full text of the letter to Governor Scott can be found at

One comment

  1. Being able to anchor is part of the freedom of boating and for a lot of people that freedom is very important. My kids loved to anchor over night and swim and fish. I have been in boating for over 35 years both for pleasure and in selling yachts. Don't kill the business and those in it by taking the fun out of boating.

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