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Florida cruising group opposes anchoring amendment

The Fort Lauderdale-based Seven Seas Cruising Association is calling members to action regarding a state Senate bill that could affect Florida residents’ anchoring rights.

State Sen. Gwen Margolis is seeking an amendment to Senate Bill 1126 “which will undermine all the good work the Florida Fish and Wildlife [Conservation] Commission has performed to date with regard to Florida’s Anchoring and Mooring pilot program,” association director Judith Mkam wrote in an email to members.

After meetings between the fish and wildlife commission and members of local government, property owners, marina owners, boat owners, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency and boating groups, a pilot program was worked out in several municipalities in South Florida.

“The pilot program temporally ended the wild west of anchoring in Florida, and the variety of pilot programs is giving FWC and others experience on how to best manage this resource,” Mkam wrote. “Florida Senator Gwen Margolis is now seeking to undermine the current and proposed statute by allowing municipalities to regulate overnight anchoring and to prohibit anchoring of vessels within some unspecified distance from private residences.”

The cruising association’s Concerned Cruisers Committee is urging members to write Florida senators, asking them to vote against the amendment.

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