New Boating Rules in Florida

#The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to two boating rules at Thursday's meeting in Lake Mary.

First, the FWC approved the adoption of a new rule that creates the standards by which it will review and approve local government ordinances related to boating-restricted areas. The rule also ensures that the public has an adequate opportunity to weigh in before the ordinances take effect.

The FWC also approved amendments to another rule pertaining to waterway markers. The revised rule clarifies the information that needs to be submitted to obtain permits, and it spells out any exemptions to permitting.

Last year, the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring the FWC to establish the criteria and procedures for reviewing applications from local governments for boating-restricted areas and to provide for appropriate public notice and participation in the review and approval process. This latest Commission action is aimed at completing that mandate.

At Thursday's meeting, five members of the public spoke, including representatives from the Florida Airboaters Association, Everglades Coordinating Council, Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, Florida Sportsmen's Conservation Association and Boat U.S. All supported accepting the rules, and many thanked FWC staff for spending time to inform the public about this issue.

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