1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: August 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fighting the Florida Anchoring Fight...

Today's post is going to be short and sweet, but no less important because of that.
News of the impending stupidity in Florida is racing through the cruising community and boaters everywhere are, I'm glad to say, rallying to the fight.
Two organizations are in the forefront of this battle and we need to support them: Seven Seas Cruising Association, and Boat US. I'd like to promote the SSCA at this point in time.
SSCA (http://ssca.org) represents cruisers worldwide and has been fighting on your behalf for years. Membership is $55, and they offer you a considerable variety of services, including mail drops and local harbour hosts. If you're cruising now, or planning on it, join up. I did, and we all know how cheap I am. You can also follow the SSCA on Facebook, and join in discussions.
Right now, in particular, the SSCA wants your opinion on the Florida anchoring issues - here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLA-ANCHOR
Please go the link and provide your opinion. If you are currently a SSCA member, go to the SSCA site online and fill out the survey from there. It's important, so please - do it now.
I will now be speaking at the Vero Beach FWC meeting on September 3, and will report back here to you on it. Thank you to all who donated funds to make this possible, especially for your confidence in me. It means a lot!
Please share to other boaters, we need everyone we can get in this fight.
More later. Fair winds to all.

Other posts of interest: http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/2014/08/florida-attempting-to-eliminate.html

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Florida attempting to ELIMINATE anchoring in the state

This is a call to arms to ALL boaters. Florida is about to attempt to totally eliminate anchoring in the state. That is not a joke. According to Mike Ahart, of Waterway Guide:
"this effort was spearheaded by municipalities responding to their waterfront homeowners who want laws to prevent any boaters from anchoring for even one night on state navigable waters adjacent to their properties. These are not the rare cases where the homeowners own the rights to the bottomland – these are navigable waters that belong to all the people of Florida." Click here for the entire article
'So what' you say? You don't live or boat in Florida? These restrictions, if passed, will be viewed by other states as a means to regulate anchoring there. This DOES affect you. And even if it doesn't, I and your fellow boaters are asking for your help in turning this foul tide.
What can you do? First of all - join Seven Seas Cruising Association who are representing cruising boaters at this meeting. You can also join their Facebook page and show your support there, although to be frank, the organization can use your $52 annual dues to fight this effort. Just give up one cup of coffee daily for the next two months and you've paid for your part in this fight.
The FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) has indicated that it is NOT taking written submissions for this meeting. Of course they aren't, they'd be deluged with responses from angry boaters. You can email Captain Tom Shipp of the FWC on this issue directly, at thomas.shipp@myfwc.com
Finally - I'm planning on attending this meeting and speaking out for all cruisers. However, that is an expensive undertaking, involving an overnight stay in Vero Beach, transportation to and from Vero Beach, meals and a car rental. It's not an expense I can afford to take on for myself. I'm going to need the help of my fellow cruisers for this one.
Here are the costs:

Flight - $300

Hotel - $125
Car rental - $75
Meals - $75
Incidentals - $150 (shuttle to/from airport, etc.)
TOTAL - $700

I will be making arrangements with a fellow cruiser who is also a lawyer for these funds to be received in trust for ONLY the purpose of getting me to this meeting to speak. I will post another blog shortly, plus update this one, with details of how to send money. Or, if you are comfortable with doing so, you can Paypal funds to me - contact me using this email address and I'll give you the Paypal information.
Here are the points that I will be making at this meeting, in brief:

1) No standoffs of any sort - the FWC is seeking a 300 foot standoff from private residences - this would eliminate ANY anchoring in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
2) Continuation of the Pilot Program with no municipality being permitted to create anchoring legislation.
3) Enforcement of laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS to deal with issues of derelict boaters, pumping waste overboard and other identified issues.

I ask you now for your support and I promise (God help me, I sound like a politician here!) to represent all cruisers on these issues.
I would be happy if 35 people each gave $20, or 70 gave $10, or 7000 of you each gave $1 and I could claim to represent that many people directly, but quite frankly, this issue is too important for me to be picky - I'll accept whatever you feel able to give to protect your rights in this issue.
Thank you for any help or assistance you can provide. Also, please be sure to share this blog with everyone you can. If we don't act now, it WILL be too late.


Wally Moran