The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County in Florida is celebrating a legislative success with the passage of a marine industry bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law last week.
“Big congratulations to everyone who participated and supported this legislation,” the group said in a statement issued Friday. “Many thanks to our sister organizations, our state-level partners and [the Marine Industries Association of Florida] and our lobbying team for bringing home this win.”
The new law includes pieces of legislation from non-marine industry groups and was classified as an environmental regulation bill. The group outlined provisions that affect the marine industry:
• Managed public mooring fields: Provides for general permitting of mooring fields not exceeding 100 vessels; removes the availability of a general permit for public marinas so all marinas will be subject to the standard permitting process. Mooring fields are environmentally friendly and more economical. The language is intended to be an incentive for local governments to consider mooring fields in their area, as they will reduce sea grass scarring by providing a place for boaters to tie up their boats instead of anchoring in sea grass areas. Another strong benefit of mooring fields is to provide pumpout facilities for vessels.
• Boat show leases: Allows for 10-year leases or consents of use for boat show owners; allows reconfigurations of temporary docking facilities within the lease area; simplifies lease fee calculations to be based on the size of the actual pre-empted area and period of the pre-emption.
• Boat show permits: Directs the state Department of Environmental Protection to issue special events permits, which run concurrently with the consent of use or lease of government property and which also allow the movement of temporary structures within the lease area.
• Seawalls: Adopts the federal standard for seawall restoration. The bill does not prevent anyone from occupying lands owned by the board of trustees or the water management district. The language increases the restoration of a seawall from its previous location from 12 inches to 18 inches and does not affect the permitting requirements of Chapter 161 and DEP rules.
• Multifamily docks: Adds dock fee reductions for certain multifamily docks so they are more fairly treated as residential docks than commercial docks. The bill treats condo owners who have a dock the same as a single-family homeowner.