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Boating rules changes on tap for Biscayne National Park

The National Park Service is proposing changes to anchoring and mooring in Biscayne National Park in Florida, according to The Marine Council.

The National Park Service proposal includes:

  • Installing more moorings at various places in the park.
  • Restrictions on anchoring. Boats can use only National Park Service moorings in some areas, with no anchoring allowed at Stiltsville, Fowey Rocks, Brewster and Star Reefs, Sands Cuts Shoals, Elliott Key: Anchorage, Harbor and vicinity, and east of Keys.
  • No rafting allowed while on a National Park Service mooring.
  • A reduction or elimination of beaching of boats.
  • More markers for channels, park boundaries, featherbeds and hazardous areas.

"Although The Marine Council appreciates the National Park Service's desire to protect marine resources, we feel there needs to be a balance for boaters as well," the council said in a statement. "We feel that increased navigational and educational signs and hazard marking would be beneficial and would support their installation.

"We strongly object to the severe restrictions that would prohibit anchoring on the Bay side of Elliott Key," the council added. "We also feel that their prohibition on rafting is counterproductive to their stated goal of keeping anchors off the bottom."

The council is asking affected boaters to comment on the plan by Friday.

Click here to submit comments.

Click here to see the complete National Park Service Mooring Buoy and Marker Plan Environmental Assessment

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