Advocacy

Our Mission AGLCA, as a member of The Boaters’ Rights Advocacy Coalition, is committed to defending boaters’ rights for anchoring and waterway access. As legislative actions continue to increase, we are proactive in protecting our boating rights and to do this we, as a Coalition, need to leverage member contributions to retain a lobbyist, assuring us a voice and a seat at the table.

Why we continue on

A few of the successes we’ve been proud to be part of on behalf of all boaters in recent years include:

Florida:  In 2021, none of the bills filed to add anchorages to section 4108, thereby closing them to overnight anchoring, made it out of committee, thanks in large part to our lobbyist’s efforts on our behalf.  This was a huge win. But there was more.

Our primary goal, in addition to preventing the closure of additional anchorages, was to end this year-after-year battle with jurisdictions attempting to add waterways to section 4108, and we believe we took a big step forward on that with the passage of a bill creating the ability for local jurisdictions to create Anchoring Limitation Areas (ALA).  The bill, with a few amendments, passed the Florida House and Senate and was signed by the Governor.

New York:  There were efforts in the State of New York to change how the Erie Canal is managed via a short-cut, 30-day budget amendment that precluded the public input and debate that a bill sent through the usual approval cycle would receive. Loopers stepped up and made our voices heard! Both the New York State Assembly and Senate did not move the Erie Canal Revitalization Act forward as part of the budgeting process.

Georgia:  AGLCA submitted comments on the proposed spaceport with monthly rocket launches being debated in Georgia.  If the spaceport is approved and built, the AICW would be closed for 3.5 hours for a typical launch and 12 hours for an atypical launch near Cumberland Island each time a launch is scheduled.  The boating community in Georgia fears that frequent launches could lead to lengthy waterway closures, especially when scheduled launches are delayed for weather, hindering the ability of cruisers to move through the area.

Missouri:  AGLCA followed a bill that would ban anchoring within 100’ of a dock to ensure that the distance was not changed to something unreasonable during the legislative process since this is a reasonable distance for most Loopers.

North Carolina:  North Carolina introduced a bill that would give the City of New Bern and the Town of Bridgeton, Oriental, and Trent Woods the ability to regulate navigable waters within their corporate limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction.  This amounts to unprecedented over-reach of local governments over the waterways. If these four localities are authorized to regulate boating, we can expect an onslaught of additional cities and towns to request similar powers. The bill did not move forward in 2021.

South Carolina:  A bill was proposed that would allow local jurisdictions to require a permit to anchor in their waters for more than 14 days. AGLCA contacted South Carolina legislators and provided information on what this bill would mean to transient boaters and how other states like Georgia, and possibly Florida, have dealt with this issue in more effective manners.  Kim Russo from AGLCA’s Home Port Crew attended subcommittee hearings to provide testimony on the proposed law’s impact on boaters.  Specifically, she endorsed 14 days at anchor in one place is enough time, but emphasized that it may not be long enough in an entire jurisdiction. The result was an amendment, and subsequent passing, of a new South Carolina law that limits anchoring to 14 days within a five-mile radius which allows active cruisers to remain in an area for an extended amount of time as long as they move five miles every two weeks. This also means that a local law in Folly Beach, South Carolina, where anchoring was prohibited within one mile of public boat ramps, is superseded by the state law.

We are actively monitoring legislation in all states along the Great Loop route so that we can work to ensure the route remains safe and navigable for Loopers.  This is what your contributions support!