Feds continue to meddle with Florida Boaters rights.
What we need is to let the Governor know that we, as Florida Citizens,
won't stand for the Federal government's meddling in our
local waters any longer. It is up to him to step in on our behalf and take
back our rights! All boating in Florida is in jeopardy!
Below I have attached a link to Cape Coral On Alert. This website deals
specifically with the issues going on in Cape Coral. In reality, they are
the issues affecting all of Florida. The rest of Florida just does not
realize it yet. Broward County has fought the same battle and lost. Now
their property rights are suffering for it. This site has lots of
background info in the issue.
The Cape Coral on Alert folks have already sent 10,000 letters urging Jeb to
get involved with the Marine Mammal Protection Act rulemaking. I think it
might be more appropriate if your contacts contacted Jeb via e-mail or
snail-mail on their own or using a different letter. The following is the
Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association Website with information
about the situation. Lots of good background here, also.
The following is a short synopsis of impacts of the Federal rulemaking:
1) The biological opinions now required by FWS as part of its latest
settlement apply Statewide -- throughout 'peninsular Florida.'
2) These opinions do not yet exist. FWS has typically written from none to
six of these lengthy documents per year. There is already a backlog of over
1200 permits statewide to wade through. Now they have thousands to write.
FWS is trying to build some template opinions -- cut and paste fill in the
blank forms -- but these templates must be reviewed and approved by lawyers
before being used. Read into that whatever you will.
3) Until these 'opinions' are available, all FWS permitting Statewide is
halted, residential docks included. If you don't like the word moratorium,
try "ban" instead. Or "out of business."
4) The wording of the Settlement memorandum appears to require a new
standard for the opinions: they must measure the direct and indirect threat
over the life of the activity. What, exactly, is the life of a dock?
5) Each opinion may be challenged in court. Read into that what you will.
6) In Southwest Florida, it's even worse. Every permit application will be
assumed to "adversely affect" the manatee. Good luck! You'll need it.
You can see how bad this will be for Florida boaters. These Biological
opinions apply to all docks, boat ramps, marinas, anything that has to do
with water-access. What I did not include is the fact that the Federal
government is also attempting to regulate how and who registers a boat in
Florida. That is very scary.