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Florida Anchoring Rights Update 2/29/16 Action Needed!

Source - Updated 2/29/16

MORE IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED FOR YOU TO PRESERVE YOUR ANCHORING RIGHTS State Affairs Committee of the Florida House of Representatives approved CS/CS/HB1051 on Thursday, February 25th. The boating community stood in opposition to the bill, but unfortunately it passed. This bill provides for a total anchoring ban in Middle River, City of Ft. Lauderdale and Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County along with three other areas in that county. The bill includes a safe harbor provision, anchoring rights for fishermen and emergency vessels but prohibits any other anchoring overnight. A provision was included which sunsets this legislation upon the adoption of recommendations for a statewide anchoring and mooring program by the Florida Wildlife Commission and adopted by the legislature in 2017. While the bill is limited to only five anchorages, Seven Seas Cruising Association along with many other boating organizations oppose this bill. 

The main two reasons is that it sets a dangerous precedent that leaves the door open for other communities to add no anchoring areas in the future. Secondly, it is premature for these two areas to receive special treatment to create outright bans on anchoring without any state oversight or review. 

Since the Florida anchoring pilot program will end in July 2017, it is best for these two areas to wait until a statewide policy is created and passed next year. 

This bill will now go to the floor of the House of Representatives where it will be considered within the next two weeks. Please contact members of the House now to express your concerns. If you are resident of Florida it is important for you to write your Representative now. A link below will allow you to locate your representative. 

You can use the following as a part of your email and you may add anything else you wish.

“I am a boater and resident of Florida and am writing in opposition to CS/CS/HB1051. Boaters who cruise Florida’s waterways have a right to reasonable opportunities to anchor our boats for recreation and to stage for longer voyages. This bill proposes to remove five major anchorages in Florida which will have a negative impact on the jobs created by business that rely on these cruisers who purchase fuel, food, supplies and seek repairs of their boats. 

Closing these anchorages in South Florida will place an undue burden on cruisers travelling the ICW. The stretch from West Palm Beach to South Miami has few very secure and protected anchorages. The removal of Middle River will reduce safe, protected anchorages by 50% in Broward County. Those passing through will probably not be able to find secure anchorages, be forced to anchor near the ICW and in areas not protected from weather. Unexpected storms may endanger these boats and local property. The closed Miami anchorage are important resting spots for cruisers leaving for the Bahamas. 

Again, this will force cruisers into unsafe anchorages resulting risk to boats and other property. Please stop this very ill-conceived bill today.“

Here is the present bill: 

Here's how you can help:

·         If you do nothing else, join SSCA

·         Contribute to SSCA legislative efforts: by clicking here. This money pays ONLY for the expenses of our lobbying efforts. 

·         Telephone or send an e-mail to your representatives now. Find your Representative using this link:

and thank you for your support!

For more information please contact: 

Phillip Werndli, Member 
Concerned Cruisers Committee 
Seven Seas Cruising Association 
850 519-8398

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