The FWC Comments...

The following comments were made at a public meeting in the Keys. Note the highlighted comments by FWC Lt. Dipre, which totally put the lie to what several cities are saying about the Pilot Program and derelict vessels.

MONROE COUNTY - Pilot Program Stakeholder Workshops

October 5, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Second Floor of the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Avenue
Key West, Florida 33040
Minutes of June 8th 2011
Monroe County Marine & Port Advisory Committee (MPAC)

Mr. Jones stated that staff and the MPAC is well-aware of the socioeconomic issues of
liveaboards. Although the Pilot Program encourages more mooring fields, that does not mean all
free anchoring is going to disappear. Mr. Jones asked Lieutenant Dipre to expand on the reasons vessels become derelict.

FWC's Lieutenant Dipre stated one common factor that applies to derelict vessels throughout the state is the socioeconomic factor. Drug and alcohol use also play a big part in derelict vessels. Amnesty programs are being looked into as a way to help resolve the derelict vessel issue. Lieutenant Dipre then described the process by which the FWC notifies the responsible parties. The FWC is more interested in removing the derelict vessels than prosecuting the owners. Lieutenant Dipre stated that he does not believe more mooring fields will resolve the derelict vessel problem.
________________________________________________________________________ - June 13th by Blair Shiver

Marathon Ports Manager Richard Tanner clarified for the audience that he never nor had any vision of mandating that boaters secure their vessel on a mooring ball.
“Contrary to popular belief, I do not support any changes to the anchorage field,” Tanner pointed out. You cannot mandate that any boater come on a mooring ball. Every mooring field needs an anchorage area. The economic conditions in Marathon have finally caught up with Boot Key Harbor.”

“This is not about impeding anyone’s right to anchor in free areas that will likely always exist in the Keys,” (County BAC Sr. Administrator Richard) Jones stated. “It is about cleaning up un-permitted boats and providing pump out services.”
(FWC Lt. Officer) Dipre also noted that current state statutes say proper notice for inhabitants and boat owners of derelict boats requires only five days, “but we often give weeks or months.”

"The FWC's "At-Risk" Vessel Program has been very successful in its quest to address the issue of derelict and abandoned vessels. The recent article touting the implementation of the FWC's "At-Risk" Vessel Program and its successes, by Phil Horning, published in BOAT US magazine, proves that the Pilot Program's stated objectives of helping control derelict and abandoned vessels is not truth. The Pilot Program has no funding at all and offers none of its partiicpants funding for derelict and abandoned boat control--no funding at all for anything. Using the derelict and abandoned boat problem as a premise for the necessity of the Pilot Program is an inaccuracy and very misleading the the Public."

(the above paragraph was excerpted from the Boating Anchoring Rights and Responsibilities, an organization I had a hand in creating),