Florida working to clarify mooring regulations

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has directed staff to proceed with submitting draft legislation that will create a pilot program to test anchoring and mooring regulations in various parts of the state.

The commission gave the directive at its meeting last week.

Public access sites for boaters have diminished because of development of waterfront properties and privatization of boating facilities. As a result, some boaters have anchored or moored their vessels on the water permanently, or for long periods, and often behind waterfront properties. The vessels can become derelict, create navigational hazards and property damage, harm sea grass and corals, and create pollution.

Under pressure from homeowners and others, local governments implemented local codes and ordinances that are in conflict with state laws. However, for boaters it was confusing because they often experienced local jurisdictions with different rules and regulations.

The FWC also will propose language in the legislation pertaining to codification of the Second District Court of Appeals ruling, vessel registration, sea grass protection and signage, inland waterway signage, and clarification of local rules and regulations.

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