LETTER: BILL PENALIZES LEGAL LIVEABOARDS IN KEY WEST & THE FLORIDA KEYS
The bills currently before our state legislators, House Bill 639 and Senate Bill 1086, which would require anchored boats in Monroe County to move five miles every 90 days, are unreasonable and elitist.
As a resident, of course I want safe waters. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and local authorities should fairly enforce the existing laws regarding derelict/abandoned vessels and not penalize those anchored boaters who comply with all regulations.
This bill will devastate the Key West community of hard-working liveaboards with legally maintained vessels. If a liveaboard meets the requirements for a legal vessel why should they have to move every 90 days and move five miles? Who will keep track of this? At what cost to the state?
Experienced liveaboard residents have sophisticated anchor systems that hold their boats safely during storms. They are not easily removed and reset every 90 days. And five miles? When you work the evening shift at Sloppy Joe’s?
In my opinion, this is a thinly disguised plan to eliminate the liveaboard community in Key West because their boats are not always the prettiest and may not contribute to the pristine view that marina developers want on their sales brochures. Those hotels won’t have any workers if laws like this continue to be passed.
I urge my fellow residents to let our representatives know if you feel the same.
Susan J. Campbell
Key West, Florida
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