Comment period set for Florida anchoring ordinances

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is requesting public comment on proposed anchoring and mooring ordinances for the city of St. Petersburg and city of Stuart/Martin County.

Both areas were chosen as sites for a legislatively directed anchoring and mooring pilot program, as were the city of St. Augustine; Marathon and Key West partnering with Monroe County; and the city of Sarasota.

The goal of the program is to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-liveaboard vessels outside the boundaries of public mooring fields. Among other things, the program should help promote public access to Florida’s waters, enhance navigational safety and protect the marine environment, according to the commission.

The city and/or county government for each participant site is responsible for soliciting public input for the ordinance-development process. The participants have held public meetings to gather suggestions and information on local problems related to anchoring and mooring.

The FWC’s role is to provide consultation and technical assistance. The St. Petersburg and Stuart/Martin ordinances are posted at MyFWC.com/Boating, where the public is asked to comment through March 18.

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