SECTION A - News & Regulations from COE, FWC and others, including Bridge information

The latest Navigation Report can be found at: www.saj.usace.army.mil which goes to the Jacksonville District.

General Information for the Okeechobee Waterway can be found at South Florida Operations Office web page.

Information from COE

US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS HOLDING PUBLIC MEETINGS ON PORT EVERGLADES HARBOR

This information (taken from July 19 Release #13-051) was too late for our last update but comments will be accepted through August 13. More complete information at the Jacksonville District Site, http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/ where further reports will most likely be available early in August.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has scheduled two public meetings for Tuesday, July 23rd at the Broward County/Fort Lauderdale Convention Center to discuss the release of the draft (of the) tentatively selected plan for Port Everglades Harbor. At this writing (July 22) meetings are scheduled to include a brief presentation and opportunity for questions and comments from the public.

The District is conducting a study to deepen Port Everglades’ channel from 42-feet to 48-feet, and widen the entrance channel. The primary objectives of the project are to decrease costs associated with vessel delays from congestion, channel passing restrictions, decrease transportation costs, and increase channel safety and maneuverability for existing and larger vessel use.

Hard copies of the report are located at the following Broward County Public Libraries: North Regional Library, South Regional Library, West Regional Library, and the Main Library. An electronic copy of the draft report and appendices are located at  http://wwwsajusacearmymil/About/DivisionsOffices/Planning/EnvironmentalBranch/EnvironmentalDocuments.aspx#PE.

Official comments may be submitted to Ms. Terri Jordan-Sellers at 904-232-1817 or Terri.Jordan-Sellers@usace.army.mil through August 13, 2013.

The latest Navigation Report can be found at: www.saj.usace.army.mil which goes to the Jacksonville District.

General Information for the Okeechobee Waterway can be found at South Florida Operations Office web page.
 

Received 8/26/13


GOV. SCOTT and FWC ANNOUNCE SALTWATER LICENSE-FREE FISHING DAY
 
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Governor Rick Scott and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a saltwater license-free fishing day for September 1. On this day, Florida residents and visitors can experience Florida’s unique saltwater fishing opportunities first hand without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license. 
 
Governor Scott said, “The license-free fishing day on September is a great way for families to enjoy Florida’s incredible saltwater fishing opportunities during the Labor Day holiday. Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and this license-free weekend is a great opportunity to introduce friends and family who may have never experienced Florida saltwater fishing to enjoy the Sunshine States’ bountiful waters and historic fishing communities.”
 
License-free fishing days, including freshwater days, were held earlier this year on April 13 and June 8 for freshwater and June 1 for saltwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will consider adding four additional license-free fishing days to the calendar at the Sept. 5 meeting in Pensacola. If approved, there will be two more saltwater and two more freshwater license-free fishing days before the end of 2013. All other regulations still apply.
 
An annual license for residents can be purchased at 1-888-FISH-Florida or at License.MyFWC.com. All fishing license fees are used to support Florida fish and wildlife conservation and help attain additional funding for Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration projects.
 
All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions apply on these dates. For fishing tips, locations and rules, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing.

TARPON, BONEFISH BECOME CATCH-and-RELEASE ONLY BEGINNING  SEPTEMBER 1
Two premier recreational fisheries will soon have new protections in place, a measure aimed at ensuring that tarpon and bonefish’s economic and fishing value remain for generations to come. Tarpon and bonefish become catch-and-release only fisheries beginning Sept. 1.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these proactive management measures at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland. The catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing values of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.
The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:

•All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.
•Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year except for properly licensed charter boat captains and fishing guides.
•Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.
•There will be a one-fish-per-vessel limit for tarpon.
•Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.
•Multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait cannot be used to target or harvest tarpon, or to target bonefish.
•People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.
•Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.
•The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allowed tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

To learn more about tarpon and bonefish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”
_____

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.
Capt. John Yeager has received the following notices about happenings with Jacksonville and West Palm Bridges ... As of NOW ...
FLORIDA – ST. JOHNS RIVER – FEC RAILROAD BRIDGE - JACKSONVILLE: Closed Clearance is 5'.


Special Operating Schedule.
Due to a mechanical failure, the FEC Railroad Bridge across the St Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida has been placed on a limited opening schedule. This bridge will remain open to navigation from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at all other times the bridge will be closed to navigation. The bridge owner is in the process of manufacturing a part in order to replace the broken bearing. If the bearing fails before the new part can be delivered, the bridge will need to be operated manually with additional restrictions implemented.

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH – FLAGLER MEMORIAL BRIDGE: BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION/WATERWAY

Restriction/Temporary Bridge Regulation Changes/Update.
The Florida Department of Transportation contractor Archer Western has been authorized to limit the horizontal navigational clearance to 25 feet at night and 70 feet during the day, for the emergency repairs of the existing Flagler Memorial Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1021.8, Palm Beach, Florida, starting on July 8, 2013. Night time restrictions will limit horizontal clearance to 25 feet between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. daily for up to three months. The Flagler Memorial Bridge will be left in the open to navigation position between these hours.

The full 70 feet of horizontal clearance will be made available with a four hour notice to the on-scene tug.

The temporary waterway restriction limiting horizontal clearance to 70 feet will remain in effect at the existing Flagler Memorial Bridge until the replacement bridge is complete. Mariners are advised that changes to navigational clearance may be necessary as repair conditions develop.

The temporary regulations for the Flagler Memorial and Royal Park Bridges will remain as follows: Flagler Memorial Bridge schedule will remain on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour except that from 8:16 a.m. to 9:14 a.m. and from 4:16 p.m. to 5:14 p.m., The Royal Park Bridge will remain on the hour and hour-hour schedule except that from 8:01 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. and from 4:31 p.m. to 5:29 p.m. this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation, Monday through Friday until the repairs are completed on the Flagler Memorial Bridge.

Archer Western Inc has advised the bridge owner that they will have divers around the structure in and around the navigable channel Mariners are reminded to avoid diving flags at all times and if the waterway is too restrictive due to this operation to come to all stop until the divers have moved outside the navigable channel. The Coast Guard is working with the bridge owner to address additional safety concerns created by this diving operation.

Due to the unusual circumstances associated with the bridge structure, the bridge owner has requested an emergency back-up plan in case the repairs are unable to be accomplished as anticipated. If the Flagler Memorial Bridge malfunctions and is left in the open to navigation position, the Royal Park and Southern Boulevard Bridges will be placed on restricted schedules to accommodate increased vehicular traffic.
If an emergency occurs, the Royal Park Bridge will be on an hourly schedule at the quarter after the hour, except that from 8:16 a.m. to 10:14 a.m. and from 4:16 p.m. to 6:14 p.m. this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation. The Southern Boulevard Bridge will remain on the twice an hour schedule (top of the hour and bottom of the hour), except that from 8:31 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. and from 4:31 p.m. to 5:59 p.m. this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation.

Additional waterway restrictions will be promulgated once the new Flagler Memorial Bridge construction commences.


FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – WEST PALM BEACH – LAKE AVENUE/ROBERT HARRIS BRIDGE: Special Bridge Regulations.

District Seven Bridge Branch office has been contacted by a Florida State Representative and the City of West Palm Beach with regard to vehicle traffic congestion concerns created by the removal of the East Ocean Avenue Bridge. Vehicle traffic has been detoured to the Lake Avenue/Robert Harris SR 802 Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1028.8, West Palm Beach, Florida; for this reason they have requested that this bridge be placed on a twice an hour schedule. This office has evaluated the situation and determined that starting on May 1, 2012 the draw of the Lake Avenue/Robert Harris (SR 802) will open on the quarter-hour and three-quarter-hour, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Public vessels of the United States and tugs with tows must be passed at anytime. This temporary schedule is expected to continue until November 15. 2013.

FLORIDA - ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI - LANTANA - EAST OCEAN AVENUE BRIDGE: Bridge Replacement.

GLF Construction Corporation has advised this office that the demolition and replacement of the East Ocean Avenue Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1031, Lantana, Palm Beach County, Florida will start on March 20, 2012 and will continue until November 15, 2013.

From July 17, 2013 through August 24, 2013, the east bascule leaf will be erected which will allow a 60 feet of horizontal clearance, with unlimited vertical clearance, on the west side of the AICW. If your vessel needs assistance for safe passage, please provide GLF a twenty four hour notice by calling (954) 829-2781 or by contacting the tug “MISS THELMA” on marine channel 16. The contractor will have a barge in the waterway, under the east structural steel leaf between these dates, for safety reasons, maintaining the horizontal clearance of 60 feet while the east bascule leaf is in the down position. If your vessel is wider than 60 feet, but has less than 21 feet of vertical height, please provide GLF a twenty four hour notice by calling (954) 829-2781 or by contacting the tug “MISS THELMA” on marine channel 16, and the barge(s) in the channel can be temporarily moved out of the channel for your vessel to pass through the bridge.

From August 26, 2013 through September 7, 2013 it will be necessary, for construction purposes, to have the east and west bascule leafs in the down (closed to navigation) position from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. During this time there will be a minimum of 60 feet of horizontal clearance and 21 feet of vertical clearance. The contract can open one leaf with a four hour advance notice to the phone number above or by calling the tug “MISS THELMA”. This will limit the horizontal clearance to 60 feet between these times and dates
 

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September 2013 Section A

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