September 2014 Section A

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Information from COE

Information from FWC

Notes on Fishing Rules and other announcements
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (a/k/a FWC) keeps us up to date on changes that fishermen (cruising-fishermen included) should know, and other items of interest to boating people. As the audience is somewhat varied, we give a quick note on the news and suggest that those interested in specific topics check it all out at the FWC web site.
There's also information on boating, parks, ramps, etc., etc. and we'll hope to include news on anything we think you'll want to know about.
FWC's web site is www.MyFWC.com


 NEWS * NEWS * NEWS * NEWS * NEWS * NEWS * NEWS * NEWS 

IMPORTANT WORKSHOPS ON ANCHORING AND MOORING in FLORIDA


NOTE: August 27, 2014

THE FOLLOWING NOTICE WAS RECEIVED FROM BOATU.S. AND NEEDS THE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION OF FLORIDA CRUSING PEOPLE!!! Two meetings re: Anchoring in Florida will  be held soon: September 3,in Vero Beach and September 4, in Bradenton.

We've contacted BoatU.S. Government Affairs and FWC's Tallahassee office and both groups are hoping for a good turn-out of boating folks who'll be equipped to take part in discussions and share their knowledge about "... what works and what doesn't work ..."

THE BOATU.S. letter follows here ...

Dear BoatU.S. Member,

If having a full range of anchoring and mooring options is important to your cruising in Florida, this is a really important time to share your thoughts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Next week, FWC is hosting two public workshops on possible changes to Florida’s anchoring laws.  We’d like to make sure that active, responsible cruising boaters help the state know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to anchoring.

Option 1:  Attend a meeting

When: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Indian River County Administration Complex-Building A, 1801 27th St , Vero Beach, FL 32960

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205

Option 2:  Write a note

We understand that FWC will be accepting written comments following these meetings. Go here to be notified when this is option available:

https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/subscriber/new

Also, visit http://myfwc.com/boating/anchoring-mooring/ for additional information and updates.

Background:

In 2009 the Florida Legislature enacted legislation that stopped local governments from placing inconsistent and often onerous anchoring restrictions on anchoring. During the 2014 Florida legislative session there were strong attempts to repeal part of this prohibition. While these changes were defeated, there will likely be new legislation introduced in the spring.  

The Florida Wildlife Commission is holding these workshops to hear from the public about potentially granting some authority to counties and municipalities to regulate anchoring on state waters.

Read a discussion draft of possible changes here:

http://myfwc.com/media/2847550/anchoring-public-meeting.pdf

You can get additional information on anchoring in Florida here:

http://www.boatus.com/gov/floridaanchoring.asp

Thanks for helping us get some good information to the FWC. 

And thank you for being a BoatU.S. Member!

Margaret Podlich
President
GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
703-461-2878 x8363
BoatUS.com/Gov


THE FWC ANNOUNCEMENT  (Received Thursday AM, August 28) follows here ...

Anchoring Public Workshops

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement announces two public workshops to which all interested parties are invited.

DATE AND TIME: September 3, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Indian River County Administration Complex, 1801 27th Street, Building A, Vero Beach, FL 32960,
(772) 567-8000

DATE AND TIME: September 4, 2014, 5:30p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205, (941) 748-4501

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will be holding two public workshops presenting a frame work for possible legislation granting limited authority to counties and municipalities to regulate anchoring on state waters in certain circumstances. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed frame work in verbal or written form immediately following the presentation. Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the respective location at least five (5) calendar days before the meeting by contacting: ADA Coordinator, see numbers listed above. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency by calling the numbers listed above.

Agenda
Anchoring concepts for public meeting
Anchoring

FWC holds public meeting to discuss the future of anchoring regulations in Florida - 7/25 Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program

The pilot program is intended to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields. The goals of the pilot program are to encourage the establishment of additional public mooring fields and to promote the establishment and use of public mooring fields; promote public access to the waters of this state; enhance navigational safety; protect maritime infrastructure; protect the marine environment; and deter improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels.

The Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program began in 2009 when the Legislature directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to select five participating local governments and to use those local governments to test a variety of boat anchoring ordinances.  The program was extended by the Legislature and sunsets July 1, 2017.  The Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section of the FWC has managed this program.

Required to be submitted by January 1, 2014, to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, this report describes a history and overview of the program, details of the individual local ordinances, results of data collection and a public perception survey, and FWC's findings and recommendations to the Legislature, as required by s. 327.4105, F.S.

Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Report of Findings and Recommendations 
Selected Participants
City of St. Augustine
City of Stuart/Martin County
City of St. Petersburg
City of Sarasota
Monroe County/Marathon/Key West
 
Local Public Meeting Schedule
Archived Information

 

REPEATING IN SEPTEMBER

Suggested Tweet: Get your snorkel &mask! Bay #scallop season opens June 28 @MyFWC:
http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/bf91db #Florida

BAY SCALLOP SEASON JUNE 28 - SEPTEMBER 24
The recreational bay scallop season opened  in some Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) June 28, three-days earlier than the season was slated to start. The portion of Gulf state waters is from the Pasco-Hernando county line north and west to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25.

Gov. Rick Scott asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to open the 2014 season early to provide additional opportunities to Florida’s residents and visitors who flock to the coast to partake in this activity. The season is an economic draw to the coastal counties within the open region. This change is not expected to harm the scallop population.

All size limits and bag limits remain the same. The bag limit is 2 gallons of whole bay scallops or 1 pint of meat per person, per day, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or a half-gallon of meat. Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.

Scallops cannot be taken ashore outside of the open area.
There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida.
The average number of scallops observed during 2013’s post-season surveys suggests similar or slightly rising abundances for 2014 in Homosassa, St. Joseph Bay and Steinhatchee. The St. Marks average has been decreasing since June 2012, which is most likely due to increased storm runoff in recent years.

Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag when scalloping in open water and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag in open water or 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.
 
Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at http://svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

Learn more about our new index-based graph, which illustrates long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”


LADIES, LET’S GO FISHING!’ EVENTS PLANNED
 
Upcoming Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! events are scheduled for Nov. 14-16 in the Florida Keys.
To learn more, visit ladiesletsgofishing.com, call 954-475-9068 or email info@ladiesletsgofishing.com.


News from USCG
BRIDGE NOTICES:

We attempt to include here only notices regarding serious bridge operating schedules. We have discontinued listing temporary changes that draw attention to semi-serious delays such as (most) painting projects, marathons, charity runs,  single-leaf operations, etc.
An exception to the above may be made because of seasonal traffic and items previously included may be kept w/updates.

NEW for SEPTEMBER UPDATE
Ref: LNM 10 through 32-14 Chart: 11485

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH – FLAGLER MEMORIAL/ROYAL PARK/SOUTHERN BOULEVARD BRIDGES: Bridge Construction/Waterway Restriction/Temporary Bridge Regulation Changes/Update.

The Florida Department of Transportation has advised that the Flagler Memorial Bridge will be placed in the open to navigation position for
a six month period. Mariners are reminded that the horizontal clearance at the Flagler Memorial Bridge is currently set at 70 feet and will remain until the new bridge is built and this bridge is removed.
Due to a concrete pumping operation over the Flagler Memorial Bridge, the vertical clearance over the waterway will be limited to 64 ft during the operation. Vessels requiring more than 64 ft of vertical clearance should contact the bridge tender at least four hours in advance to schedule the removal of the pipe over the waterway. This operation will be conducted at least 2 or 3 times a week from Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. starting May 27, 2014 and ending on October 31, 2014.
Mariners are requested to contact Primary - 813 235 3056 (Ricardo Baraybar) Secondary - 561 253 6995 (PCL Office) to make arrangements to have the vertical clearance restriction removed.


Ref: LNM 10 through 32-14 Chart: 11467
FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOATAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – HOLLYWOOD – SHERIDAN STREET
BRIDGE: Bridge Repairs.

Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. has advised the Coast Guard that they will be working on the Sheridan Street Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Hollywood, Broward County, Florida from September 8, 2014 through October 10, 2014. There will be numerous testing operations ongoing throughout the project, mariners please ensure that you contact the bridge tender if the bridge is open before proceeding. From 10:00 p.m. to 12 midnight and from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily, between October 6 through October 10, 2014, the bridge will be closed to navigation.

Ref: LNM 44-11 through 32-14 Chart: 11411

FLORIDA - GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - TAMPA BAY TO ANCLOTE – TREASURE ISLAND CAUSEWAY BRIDGE: Regulation Change.
Commencing September 1, 2014, the regulation governing the operation of the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway mile 119.0 will be permanently changed to: the bridge shall open on signal except that from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. the draw need open on the hour, 20 minutes past the hour and 40 minutes past the hour Monday through Friday and on the quarter hour and three quarter-hour on Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays. Docket number USCG-2013-0319 can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov. or www.regulations.gov.

Ref: LNM 31 and 32-14 and Docket #USCG-2013-0319 Chart: 11411

FLORIDA - GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - TAMPA BAY TO ANCLOTE – PARK BOULEVARD BRIDGE: Bridge Repairs.
Pinellas County has hired Seacoast to repair the Park Boulevard Bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, St. Petersburg Beach, Pinellas County, Florida. From September 28 through October 29, 2014, the bridge will be left in the open to navigation position as the machinery will be removed and the bridge will be unable to function. During this time the contractor will be repairing/painting portions of the bridge from a work barge in the waterway. From October 29 through December 12, 2014, the Park Boulevard Bridge will be allowed to operate on single-leaf operations. A double-leaf operation will be available with a four hour notice to the bridge tender. Once the Park Boulevard Bridge is placed in the open to navigation position, the vehicle traffic will need to be detoured to Indian Rocks Beach to the north and Tom Stuart/Welch Causeway to the south. For this reason, the Coast Guard is considering placing opening restrictions on both of these bridges to assist the local communities. A coordinated effort between the Local School Board, Florida Department of Transportation and the U.S. Coast Guard is ongoing to determine the best times to leave these bridges closed to navigation during the heaviest periods of rush hour traffic and school bus traffic. As soon as the temporary restrictions are finalized,


REPEATING,  JULY through DECEMBER

FLORIDA - ST JOHNS RIVER – MAIN STREET BRIDGE - JACKSONVILLE
: Bridge Repairs.

The Coast Guard has approved a temporary change to the operating schedule of the Main Street Bridge across the St Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida, due to bridge repairs. From January 24 through December 30, 2014, the Main Street Bridge will open with a two hour advance notice between 6:00 a.m. and 6:59 p.m. to the bridge tender either via VHF-FM channel 9 or by calling 904-891-2191.

Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. a four hour advance notice to the bridge tender will be required to receive an opening.

During the painting operation the contractor will be placing scaffolding under the bridge which will reduce the vertical clearance of the bridge up to 10 feet.
Chart: 11491

REPEATING

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – NEW RIVER (SOUTH FORK) – CSX RAILROAD BRIDGE
: New Bridge Construction/Temporary Regulation Change/Horizontal Clearance Reduction.
 
The contractor working on the CSX Railroad Bridge replacement across the South Fork of the New River mile 2.8, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida has requested to temporarily change the regulation governing the existing CSX Railroad Bridge. This temporary regulation change has been approved and has placed this bridge to an on demand schedule whereas the bridge will be placed in the closed to navigation position during certain portions of the construction operations with an open on demand schedule. Mariners are requested to contact the bridge tender on VHF-FM channel 9 for opening and passing information.
 
The pile driving operation began on February 14, 2014 on the north side of the channel with completion scheduled for July 30, 2014. The pile driving operation on the south side is scheduled to begin in September 2014. The estimated completion date for this project is June 2016.
 
REPEATING

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – NEW RIVER (SOUTH FORK) – CSX RAILROAD BRIDGE:
New Bridge Construction/Temporary Regulation Change/Horizontal Clearance Reduction.

The contractor working on the CSX Railroad Bridge replacement across the South Fork of the New River mile 2.8, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida has requested to temporarily change the regulation governing the existing CSX Railroad Bridge. This temporary regulation change has been approved and has placed this bridge to an on demand schedule whereas the bridge will be placed in the closed to navigation position during certain portions of the construction operations with an open on demand schedule. Mariners are requested to contact the bridge tender on VHF-FM channel 9 for opening and passing information.

The pile driving operation was scheduled to begin on February 14, 2014 on the north side of the channel with completion scheduled for June 3, 2014. The pile driving operation on the south side is scheduled to begin in August 2014.
The horizontal clearance of the CSX Railroad Bascule Bridge across the New River (South Fork) mile 2.8, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida has been temporarily reduced to 56 feet.

REPEATING
FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – NEW RIVER (SOUTH FORK) – I-595 BRIDGE:
Fender Repair.
 
Sieg & Sons, Inc. has advised the Coast Guard that they are replacing the fender system under the I-595 Bridge across the New River (South Fork), Fort Lauderdale, Florida from June 16, 2014 through December 30, 2014. There is floating equipment restricting the navigable channel. The horizontal clearance will be reduced to 30 feet from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The barge can be removed with 45 minutes advance notice to Ms. Dayana Iglesias at 954-920-5989. There are no vertical clearance restrictions.

REPEATING

FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER – FT DENAUD BRIDGE
: Bridge Discrepancy.
 
Due to an equipment failure the Ft Denaud Swingbridge will only open every 2 hours on the top of the hour between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. The bridge will remain closed to navigation from 8:01 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Mariners are advised that this bridge is opening and closing very slowly, please proceed with caution.

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