Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In the you really need to get off your ass and DO SOMETHING department...

Kindness as a revolutionary act, today's question, and a major social and political problem...

So, Florida is still at it.

From the SSCA...

    SSCA News

Anchoring Rights Update 2/22/16 Action Needed!
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Welcome to SSCA!

As a member of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, you are among like-minded cruisers who are either living the dream, are planning for the day that they can cast off their lines to seek adventure, or are enjoying the memories of their cruising years with others who have similar memories.  On this page you will find the latest news of your SSCA. If you have news appropriate for this page, please send it to office@ssca.org.

Anchoring Rights Update 2/22/16 Action Needed!

Updated 2/22/16

A message from SSCA Board President Steve Kauffmann:

This is a new alert. As we've seen, the opposition to this bill has been growing and the hearing this week is a chance to knock it off the table. Please read and call your representative. It is your hard work making a difference thus far; let's take it to the finish. Thank you.

CS/SB2160 is the product of a 5-4 decision in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development of the Florida Senate is scheduled to take up CS/SB1260 which is a threat to your anchoring rights on Wednesday, February 24 at 1:30. The bill is similar to CS/HB1051’ It provides for a total anchoring ban in Middle River, City of Ft. Lauderdale; Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County along with three other areas in Dade County. The bill includes a safe harbor provision and allowance for emergency and government vessels to anchor overnight. 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 through amendments before the session ends or come back next year with another list to add. 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 three areas to wait until a statewide policy is created and passed next year.

You need to contact the committee members today to express your concern about this bill. This is a new meeting so if you have sent note previously, thank you but these are the current players in the issue. You need to be sure that if you are a Florida resident and boater to identify yourself as such. A phone call is the best followed up by an email. They may not read them all, but they do count and if the phone is ringing off the hook you bet they at least know that is major opposition.

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/SB1260. 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 from South 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.

The committee staff in the Environmental Preservation and Conservation has advised its committee that this bill may violate the constitutional provision prohibiting a General Bill of Local Application. This is a very bad bill. It allows only two communities other than those in the Florida Anchoring Pilot Program to prohibit anchoring in parts of state waters in their jurisdiction. There are many other communities who have the desire to regulate anchoring that have not been considered or included. No local public hearings have been held on this issue. The bill does not provide geographic descriptions of the restricted areas and no signage is required to notify boaters who will be passing through which will result in questionable enforcement. The legislature will have to address anchoring provisions for communities next year as the program expires in 2017. After that it would then prohibit any community from regulating anchoring. We ask you to simply vote against this bill so that comprehensive legislation for all ALL communities to have reasonable regulatory authority for anchoring in their community can be passed next year.

In previous hearings it has been pointed out that the purpose of this bill is to address boating safety issues involving narrow channels. Only one of these areas in fact are navigation channels, Middle River. The remaining areas are are located outside of channels. The anchoring section of Middle Rivers is a large expanse of water and does not include the narrow canal to the north yet the ban includes the anchorage that has plenty of room for anchored boats and other boating traffic.“

Here are the emails and phone number for the member of those committees.

Jeff Brandeis, St. Petersburg brandes.jef@flsenate.gov  850 487 5022
Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth clemens.jeff@flsenate.gov  850 5027
Nancy C. Detert, Venice detert.nancy@fsenate.gov  850 487 5028
Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Miami portilla.miguel@flsenate.gov  850 487 5040
Audrey Gibson, Jacksonville gibson.audrey@flsenate.gov  850 487 5009
Dorothy L. Hukill, Port Orange hukill.dorothy@flsenate.gov  850 487 5008
Jack Latvala, Clearwater latvala.jack@flsenate.gov  850 487 5020
Maria Lorts Sachs, Delray Beach sachs.maria@flsenate.gov  850 487 5034
Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson, Orlando thompson.geraldine@flsenate.gov 850 487 5012


Here is a link to the bill:

Here is a link to the committee:

For more information please contact:

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


You got that?

Seriously this is all kinds of important and if you don't pull your weight you'll only have yourself to blame. 

And, by the way, if you are not a member of the SSCA you really should be...

Listening to Ben Harper

So it goes...