TALLAHASSEE, Fla.一 A bill aimed at addressing the continuing vessel anchoring challenges facing some Florida counties while balancing the needs of responsible vessel operators became law with the signing of FL S.B. 1946 by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida S.B. 1946 allows counties to establish anchorage limitation areas adjacent to urban areas that have a combination of significant boat traffic, narrow waterways, and residential docking facilities. Counties are permitted to set up anchorages that give active cruisers or any vessel operator access to high-demand harborage for up to 45 consecutive days in any six-month period. The state has long had challenges with derelict and abandoned vessels and this legislation hopes to reduce those numbers.
The legislation had the support of the Boat Owners Association of The United States, which said it protects active cruisers in the Sunshine State, giving them critical access to important shoreside services and amenities while also addressing continued challenges with at-risk vessels that anchor on a long-term basis.
“Representative Duggan and Senator Polsky worked diligently with us to ensure that the needs of active, responsible cruisers and vessel operators were included,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy in a press release. “We were pleased they listened to BoatUS’s solutions for this long-standing challenge and included them in the final bill… This bi-partisan team gave responsible cruising boaters and local governments the tools they will need to address anchoring.”