The Florida Senate voted 36-2 on Monday to adopt a House-initiated bill that would limit anchoring at five locations in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The House approved the measure by a vote of 105-12 on Friday.
The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. He has seven days to sign or veto it. If he signs the measure, it will take effect July 1.
HB 1051 would prohibit anchoring from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise on the Middle River between N.E. 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County; Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County; and the sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County between Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island, San Marino Island and San Marco Island, and San Marco Island and Biscayne Island.
The bill gives vessel operators some reprieve from the restrictions if their boat suffers a dangerous mechanical failure, if weather conditions pose a risk if they move their boat, or if they are attending a special event. Recreational and commercial fishermen actively engaged in fishing; government, law enforcement, military and fire-rescue boats; and construction and dredge vessels on active jobs would be exempted from the rule.