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Topic: Manatees for sale, Cheep!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Dec. 01 2007,06:10

Manatees for Sale! Cheap!  And why beans will be on your shopping list...

Many may not be aware but there's long been a court ordered prohibition and regulation of new boat slips, particularly in Broward County.  The reason was quite valid - if the waterfront develops as fast as say, Homestead, we could expect rush hour traffic in the ICW and the manatees would become sausage stuffing.

OTOH, boaters certainly deserve reasonable access.  This all may have been resolved when the county suggested charging $400 a slip (for new construction) and $20/year for each existing slip.

The funds are to be used to buy patrol boats, commission a study of manatee movement,  and to install flashing "caution" lights.  The County officials trumpeted this achievement.

Right...

Quote
The county will charge a $400 fee for each proposed boat slip and will require owners of existing slips to pay $20 a year. The money will be used by the Broward Sheriff's Office to begin patrolling areas manatees frequent, and by the county to install flashing caution lights and survey the region's population of the slow-moving sea creatures.

The plan should end more than 18 years of negotiation and bureaucratic delay over where to restrict or prohibit the construction of marinas, dry storage spaces and other boating facilities along shorelines heavily used by manatees. Broward was one of 13 counties ordered to develop manatee protection plans in 1989 and for more than three has been barred from building new marinas

Credit: Sun Sentinel


Now for the rest of the story.   Gee, a few slips here and there, what's the big deal, you say.  It's a VERY big deal.  More than 4000 slips are proposed in Broward alone and this is on top of already sometimes very heavy traffic.  Second, the original proposal was for $750/slip plus $20/year.  The very powerful boating lobby almost dropped their martinis and went to work.

The result:

Down to $400 plus $20/year.  Only commercial installations of more than 4 slips, "private" slips escape.  And the County just bent over and decided to enjoy it, and is attempting to call this a victory?  Please.

And just how does the County propose to function with a LOT less revenue?  Easy.  They'll buy "cheaper" patrol boats.  They'll delay aerial surveys of the manatees until 2009.  And in the neatest move of all...

They just changed their projections so they won't need as much money!?  Wish I could that with my home budget.  Don't have enough money?  Just lower your projected bills.  And eat beans!

Anybody up for some Manatee burgers?




:capn:

ps.  I reflected on this as I and another guy were sitting in the ICW near 14th St. in Pompano, watching a big cruiser tear it up at 30 knots, completely ignoring the November Manatee speed limits.  While law enforcement, as per usual, was nowhere to be found.

If FWC and the Sheriff can't handle this now, just wait....


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

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Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Dec. 05 2007,15:35

And a bit of good news...

You may have heard that Manatees were just about to reclassified and upgraded to  "threatened" by FWC, under heavy lobbying pressure by the the extremely powerful boating and development interests.  This change would allow higher speeds in more areas, just what we need.

But not so fast!

Just got word that Gov Charlie Crist - a Republican - has intervened and ordered the FWC to extend the Manatee's "endangered" status and made no bones that he favors protection.

Good on him!


:capn:


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

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