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Florida is at it again

General discussion about SSCA

Florida is at it again

by Auspicious » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:48 pm

As most of us are aware there is legislation pending in the Florida Legislature that would ban overnight anchoring anywhere within 200 feet of an waterfront homes, whether they have boats or even docks or not. This provision could have significant adverse effects on the freedoms of cruisers and boaters cruising Florida waters. The Seven Seas Crusing Association (SSCA) have engaged to strongly oppose this.

The background is really quite simple. First, there is a problem with derelict boats in Florida just as there is in some other states. Cruisers and other boaters are as disturbed by the problem of derelict boats as anyone else. Second, there is an unpleasant movement by wealthy waterfront homeowners who feel they have bought the view with their property and want to preclude anchoring in "their" view.

SSCA has effective volunteer and professional lobbyists meeting with members of Florida leadership, committee chairs, committee members, committee staff, and member staff. They are making progress.

You can help. We NEED your help. Here is what you can do:

1. Join SSCA. It's the best $55 you can spend each year to protect your rights and to gain other benefits of membership.

2. If you are a Florida voter, write to your state representative and senator making clear you are watching them. See http://www.ssca.org/downloads/ccc/SSCA_ ... ochure.pdf .

3. If you are not a Florida voter, write your Federal representatives to let them know you are concerned about pending restrictions on the Federal rights to navigation.

4. Contact the manufacturers of equipment you own or are considering purchase and ask them to wake up the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and get them in the game.

5. Write to BoatUS Government Affairs ( http://www.boatus.com/gov/contact_form.asp ) and let them know this issue is important to you.

SSCA is a global organization. We care and work in support of cruisers across the globe. It happens that Florida, a cruising waypoint that many of our members pass through, seems to be sending a message that Florida wants our money but not us. We've been successful in Florida before. We've been successful in Maryland and Rhode Island and Mexico. We need your help to be successful again.

For more information about SSCA see http://ssca.org ; for member benefits see http://www.ssca.org/cgi-bin/pagegen.pl? ... 20Benefits .
dave
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Re: Florida is at it again

by Auspicious » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:06 am

We've had request for a little letter writing help. Here you go:

Subject: Oppose Ban on Anchoring

Dear

The Florida state Senate is considering SB 1548 which contains a provision that is attacks the rights and freedoms of boaters. The Florida House of Representatives may take up a similar bill soon.

The bill, titled "An Act Related to Vessel Safety", attempts to remedy a number of true safety issues, attributed usually to derelict and unattended vessels: fuel and oil leaks, dumping of waste, sinking, and unmaintained ground tackle or moorings.

Under this same label of vessel "safety" there is an orphan provision promoted by some special interests, specifically a small group of waterfront landowners, who want to eliminate boat anchoring across huge swaths of Florida based solely upon proximity to spots where another person chose to build an upland "dwelling unit". The politics driving this provision seem to be some anecdotal disputes between high-profile homeowners and boaters in specific locations, mostly in the urban lower east coast. Such fights should be resolved through existing enforceable remedies related to harassment or nuisance on a case-by-case basis, not through an over-reaching statewide ban.

While stripping the rights of boaters throughout coastal Florida from the panhandle, through the Keys, and all the way to Jacksonville, the supporters have not performed an assessment of how many anchoring areas would be eliminated and how many of the 1,000,000 boats visiting Florida each year would be shut out. Also, these supporters have not performed an assessment of the adverse economic impact, lost revenue, lost jobs and lost taxes that would result when these boating customers no longer frequent the thousands of Florida's small businesses that rely on this activity.

The portion of SB 1548 creating an anchoring setback to rope off a view for a few politically-active landowners is an over-reaction to a problem that has better, more fair, solutions. This provision would establish one class of people located shore-side and define them as "winners" while others who choose to be on Florida's public waters as a class that
"loses". This setback is not safety related. It is not fair to boaters. It is unfair to all Floridians who pay taxes and collectively own the submerged land beneath these public waters. It is unfair to coastal small businesses. And it is not Florida.

As a boater who values the maritime rights existing on the public waters of Florida, I respectfully ask that you vote against this bill or vote to remove this orphan provision.

Respectfully yours,
dave
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Re: Florida is at it again

by Scott Berg » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:25 pm

Our Fund for Cruisers' Rights is up and running! Make a contribution to the CCC to help us maintain the voice of all cruisers wherever their rights are being challenged.

http://gofundme.com/Right2Anchor
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Re: Florida is at it again

by Scott Berg » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:25 pm

With great pleasure I was able to send the following to those who participated in our anchoring rights campaign...

Team,

By now you have heard that the FL House adjourned without taking up the anti-anchoring bill.

A personal note of thanks to all who traveled to Tallahassee and spoke, wrote letters and emails and made phone calls, donated to the cause at our GoFundMe site, and more. A special BZ to SSCA’s CCC Chair Phil Johnson for contributions far above the call of duty. He drove to every meeting, shepherded the troops, and presented cruisers in the most favorable light. And all the thanks I can muster to Jerry Paul and Capital Access. Without his knowledge, dedication, and expertise we would not be celebrating now.

We made a clear, fair, cogent argument for cruiser’s rights and carried the day. Everyone, take a bow, get some rest, go cruising. We’ll keep on top of this and other issues but for now relax in the knowledge that fairness won this time.

With best regards to all,

Scott Berg
SV CHARDONNAY
President/BOD, SSCA
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Re: Florida is at it again

by jacaldwell1 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:45 am

Wow, great work Scott, Wally, and all who worked so hard on this. I'm sure they'll try again so this may be just a training run.
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Re: Florida is at it again

by brilliantstar » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:01 pm

Keep in mind this is Florida you are talking about. Declaring victory when all that has happened is the dialog has been placed on hold can lead to dangerous complacency.
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Re: Florida is at it again

by stanlee » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:08 pm

I just signed up for two years and donated to help in this fight


Stan Lee

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Re: Florida is at it again

by RBEmerson » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:36 pm

Maybe I missed the news, but I assume Gov. Scott signed the (blankety-blank) bill. Right?
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Re: Florida is at it again

by TWINS » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:38 am

Can someone point me to more current information on the FL anchorng saga?
Thanks,
Jim
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Re: Florida is at it again

by Scott Berg » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:54 am

There are plans being made as I write this with the MTOA; I'll be sure they are posted on a new anchor thread here ASAP; thanks for your interest. All parties are preparing for the Florida legislative session.
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