11 Apr 2023

Important Legislative Update

Approx. 20 anchorages in jeopardy of closing in Florida! At the 11th hour, and over Easter weekend, amendments were added to a boating safety bill in Florida that would severely limit our ability to anchor in much of Biscayne Bay near Miami.

Sand with 2023 etched, above Advocacy Fund text next to AGLCA logo.

Last year, a handful of anchorages where overnight anchoring was already disallowed were grandfathered as part of a “compromise” legislation, which closed the door to more anchorages being added to that list. That legislation gave municipalities a new path, with more teeth, to deal with derelict vessels while allowing cruisers to anchor for up to 45 days. However, the amendment filed last Friday would add an additional two hundred yards around some of those grandfathered anchorages and would also add an additional anchorage, the area between Di Lido Island and San Marino Island, as areas that would be off limits to overnight anchoring. Then, the amendment was amended yesterday to add the area between State Road 913 and State Road 826 to places where anchoring overnight would not be allowed.  Estimates put that at about 11 nautical miles where we would lose about 20 more anchorages!

Kim Russo travelled to Tallahassee yesterday to comment at the bill’s third and final committee stop before it moves to the House floor for a vote. Along with commentors representing Seven Seas Cruising Association and BoatU.S., we opposed the amendments and urged the committee to allow the statute passed last year time to prove its effectiveness before reopening the grandfathered part of this statute.  If that grandfathered section is allowed to be reopened, we will be fighting year-after-year to avoid losing additional anchorages under that section. The bill was moved forward by the committee but can still be amended again before the vote on the floor. That’s what we’re working towards, but we need your help!

Please email, call, or tweet the bill’s sponsor:

Rep. Adam Botana
(850) 717-5080
[email protected]
Twitter:  @headboatwasher

The most effective way to persuade Representative Botana is to be professional and respectful in tone. Communication must be heartfelt and explain how these anchoring restrictions affect your ability to enjoy Florida and spend money there. Our ultimate “ask” is that he remove the parts of the amendment that add further anchoring restrictions to 327.4108 of the Florida Statutes.

We would also like you to contact Representative Fabian Basabe:

Rep. Fabian Basabe
(850) 717-5106
[email protected]
Twitter:  @fabianbasabe2

Please let Representative Basabe know that he is being contacted because this is happening in his district, and because he also filed a bill (HB 1385) earlier this session that tried to amend section 327.4108 of the Florida Statutes with further anchoring restrictions. Please also be professional and respectful in this communication and explain earnestly how these restrictions affect your ability to enjoy boating in Florida and spend your money there.

Time is of the essence, so please call, email, or tweet immediately. There are only about three weeks left in this legislative session in Florida. We may need more of these “grass roots” type efforts as the situation continues to unfold. Stay tuned.

You can read more details about this issue here. The bill and it’s amendments are attached.

Finally, if you have not already contributed to our Advocacy Fund, please do so now. This fund enables us to retain a lobbyist in Florida, which is why we were alerted about the amendment in time to get to Tallahassee the day after Easter to participate in the process, and why we have the information we need to start a grass roots campaign to try to influence the outcome.  Many thanks to those who have already contributed.


Amended Amendment