Florida anchoring ban bill and at-risk vessel bills effective July 1

Florida anchoring ban bill and at-risk vessel bills effective July 1

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Anchorage in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida. Photo: Boot Key Marina

Despite fervent opposition from cruisers, Florida passed a law banning overnight anchoring in several popular locations, with a few exceptions. Starting July 1st, anchoring from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise is banned on the section of Middle River between Northeast 21st Court and the ICW in Broward County, Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County and sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island, San Marino Island and San Marco Island, and Biscayne Island. Exceptions pertain to mechanical failures, certain weather conditions, special events, government vessels, construction or dredging vessels, and recreational fishing. Fines start at $50. The law may be offset by the results of the FWC’s Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program in January 2017.
Also effective July 1st, at-risk vessels will be fined from $50-$250 in Florida. At-risk vessels are described as follows: vessels taking on or have taken on water without an effective means to dewater, vessels with spaces on the vessel that are designed to be enclosed that are incapable of being sealed or remain open to the elements for extended periods of time, vessels that have broken loose or are in danger of breaking loose from anchor, vessels that are left unattended or stored aground in such a state that would prevent the vessels from getting underway, or vessels that are listing due to water intrusion, are sunk or partially sunk.

Miami Science Barge

A floating ecological laboratory and environmental education center sits atop a 30- by 120-foot barge next to the Perez Art Museum at Museum Park. Cages encircling the barge contain developing oysters, crabs, seagrass and mangroves, while remotely operated underwater cameras capture action below the surface. Solar panels, biodiesel generators and batteries provide renewable energy, as local seawater and rainwater enable zero discharge. It is the sole Miami winner of the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge that strives to make the 26 Knight communities “more vibrant places to live and work”. Program Director Matt Haggman says the barge is “an exciting way to connect and focus our community on creative ways to think about innovation and sustainability.”

North Carolina bridge construction

A new bridge will replace the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge that crosses the Oregon Inlet. Construction began in March with completion expected in August 2019. Broadcasts and bulletins convey information and updates to mariners on work conducted 24/7. Construction equipment including a work trestle/loading dock with a lit 245′ breast-line surround the bridges. Civil Constructors’ tugs and vessels monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. For details, visit: ncdot.gov/projects/bonnerbridgereplace.

Free entertainment at Carolina Beach, NC

Why wait another month for fireworks? Visit Carolina Beach, North Carolina’s Boardwalk, and enjoy music from the gazebo every Thursday this summer at 6:30PM and then fireworks at 9PM. Both are free and open to all. Carolina Beach Harbor’s dock at Gibby’s Dock and Dining is a suggested tie-up spot.

By Nancy E. Spraker, Southern Boating Magazine June 2016