The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) has urged its members to mobilize against any new limits on overnight anchoring ahead of the upcoming legislative session in Florida.
In a Jan. 7 email to members, the cruising club said it expects lawmakers from several coastal communities to introduce bills targeting anchoring rights. The association also reminded members of the stakes, highlighting a 2016 law that banned overnight stays in four anchorages around Miami-Dade and Fort Lauderdale.
“We must remain vigilant or we face losing the right to anchor in additional areas, and the Florida gateway route to the Bahamas and Caribbean will see new hurdles for boaters,” the association said on its website, noting that it expects “a slew” of bills that would restrict anchoring.
SSCA, based in South Carolina, and many other boating groups generally support uniform anchoring rules in Florida rather than a patchwork that varies by community.
Although lawmakers passed anchoring restrictions in 2016, a coalition of boating groups that includes SSCA has been successful blocking other proposals with help from a lobbyist.
Hiring one, of course, doesn’t come cheap.
Even with $11,000 left over from SSCA’s efforts to raise funds for lobbying costs in 2017, the group is still aiming to raise an additional $20,000 for this year.
The group made clear its dues do not support legislative efforts like this one.
Florida has the most boaters of any U.S. state, and it’s also considered a bellwether when it comes to boating regulations. SSCA warned that what happens in Florida could have a “strong influence” on other states’ restrictions.
For now, the cruising group is seeking input from its members to gauge interest in the potential legislative fight. The survey results also could shed light on whether the organization will collect enough money to hire the lobbyist.
Attempts to reach a spokesperson for Seven Seas Cruising Association were not successful. More details can be found at ssca.org.