Florida Alters Manatee Plan

Published online: Sep 18, 2006 News Soundings Trade Only News
Viewed 116 time(s)

Officials in Florida have revised a proposed manatee-protection plan to allow 5,000 new boat slips in southern Broward County. The revisions were made following successful lobbying efforts by South Florida's boating industry, which has an $18.4 billion economic impact on the community, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

 

"The commission basically did what they had to do as elected officials," Frank Herhold, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, told the paper.

 

The original draft, released last year by the Broward County Environmental Protection Department, would have restricted marine development along the Dania Cut-Off Canal, South Fork of the New River and other southern Broward waterways.

 

A provision that would have halted approval of new marinas if manatee deaths exceeded a certain number within five years has also been stricken in the revised proposal. The plan also calls for additional law enforcement, more manatee warning signs and expanded education efforts.

 

Some environmental organizations criticized the plan because it will allow more boats in the area.

 

"We're very concerned about the increase in that part of the county," Patti Thompson, director of science and conservation for Save the Manatee Club, told the Sun-Sentinel. "It is a manatee protection plan, after all, and if it's not going to do that, what's the point?"

 

The county, along with other coastal counties in the Sunshine State, are required by the state to prepare manatee protection plans that address where docks, boat ramps and other facilities may or may not be built.

 

Manatees in June were downlisted from endangered to threatened by the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The manatee, a large, plant-eating aquatic mammal, is still considered endangered by the federal government.

 

The boating industry is lobbying for quick passage of the plan to end a moratorium on new construction of marinas, boatyards and storage units. Florida's boating industry also is grappling with fierce competition from states to the north. In recent months several Florida-based companies, attracted by lower costs of living and expansive labor pools, have announced plans to move to places like North Carolina and Tennessee.

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
March 17, 2015

World's fastest pontoon boat gets even faster

When you think of fast boats, a pontoon is probably pretty low on your list, just ahead of houseboats and tugboats. Brad Rowland begs to differ.
March 05, 2015

West Marine begins "Do It Yourselfie!" promotion

Show off your selfie fixing up your boat and West Marine could lend you a hand.
March 04, 2015

Pontoon Brands United

Premier Marine announced today the company will transfer the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minn.
March 02, 2015

West Marine's New Product Review Day set for March 20

West Marine has announced the date for this year's iteration of their New Product Review Day.
February 19, 2015

Honda Marine and Coach Pontoons Are Now Partners

The PDB team has exciting news! While we were at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Honda Marine announced their new exclusive OEM agreement with Coach Pontoons!
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!