The Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday voted down an amendment to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Bill that would have thrown out a statewide effort to develop consistent and rational anchoring options for cruising boaters, and severely impacted anchoring in some of the most important areas along Florida’s coasts.
BoatUS, a national boating advocacy group, says the “Gonzalez Amendment” would have established a dangerous precedent for the rest of the state, lead to a patchwork quilt of anchoring restrictions exposing boaters and legitimate cruisers to citations, and completely ignore an ongoing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission anchoring pilot program.
“The amendment was introduced at the 11th hour and over the course of two days we reached out to our members and the boating community in the Sunshine State,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “This afternoon, the House firmly rejected the Gonzalez Amendment, and we offer our thanks to Florida state Representative Tom Goodson (Titusville), author of the Fish and Wildlife Bills, who urged his colleagues to pass a clean bill without the amendment. While this vote leaves the anti-anchoring amendment’s adoption in question, we are not out of the woods until the session closes in early May.”