STATUS: The FWC has completed the selection of the participants for the Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program. The next step will be public meetings and ordinance development. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, is directed to establish a pilot program to explore potential options for regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields.
The goals of the pilot program are to encourage the establishment of additional public mooring fields and to develop and test policies and regulatory regimes that:
a. Promote the establishment and use of public mooring fields.
b. Promote public access to the waters of this state.
c. Enhance navigational safety.
d. Protect maritime infrastructure.
e. Protect the marine environment.
f. Deter improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels.
Each location selected for inclusion in the pilot program must be associated with a properly permitted mooring field. The commission, in consultation with the department, shall select all locations for the pilot program prior to July 1, 2011. Two locations shall be off the east coast of the state, two locations shall be off the west coast of the state, and one location shall be within Monroe County. The locations selected must be geographically diverse and take into consideration the various users and means of using the waters of this state.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 327.60, Florida Statutes, a county or municipality selected for participation in the pilot program may regulate by ordinance the anchoring of vessels, other than live-aboard vessels as defined in s. 327.02, Florida Statutes, outside of a mooring field. Any ordinance enacted under the pilot program shall take effect and become enforceable only after approval by the commission. The commission shall not approve any ordinance not consistent with the goals of the pilot program.
The commission shall:
a. Provide consultation and technical assistance to each municipality or county selected for participation in the pilot program to facilitate accomplishment of the pilot program's goals.
b. Coordinate the review of any proposed ordinance with the department; the United States Coast Guard; the Florida Inland Navigation District or the West Coast Inland Navigation District, as appropriate; and associations or other organizations representing vessel owners or operators.
c. Monitor and evaluate at least annually each location selected for participation in the pilot program and make such modifications as may be necessary to accomplish the pilot program's goals.
The commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 1, 2014.
The pilot program shall expire on July 1, 2014, unless reenacted by the Legislature. All ordinances enacted under this section shall expire concurrently with the expiration of the pilot program and shall be inoperative and unenforceable thereafter.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any mooring field authorized pursuant to s. 253.77, s. 327.40, or part IV of chapter 373, Florida Statutes, as applicable, or any lawful ordinance regulating the anchoring of any vessels within the marked boundaries of such mooring fields