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WHY NOT GUARDS?


In the State of Florida new boating restrictions have been proposed. In order to protect the manatees boaters in Broward County will have to slow down. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed the restrictions in July 2010 in the first review of the County's manatee protection zones in 17 years. A committee of Broward boaters and environmentalists reviewed the State's proposals and issued a report in August 2010 which agreed with most of them.

The 10 member committee which acts as an advisory board seconded the State's proposed requirement for seven-day-a-week speed reduction zones on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) during the winter months rather than the current week-end only restrictions. It also supported increased restrictions on the Hillsboro Canal.

There is public support for speed restrictions on the ICW and not to eliminate the current Summer restrictions. As to the Boating Industry the usual split decision, just as there is for Compulsory Licensing, about all this.

In the State of Florida Broward County is one of the most important counties for manatees. During deliberations, which included 12 meetings and a public hearing, the largest number of public comments were from those supporting the restrictions. These were often from homeowners along the ICW and other waterways who are tired of engine noise, speeding and seeing at risk manatees injured or killed. There have also been some very bad accidents over the years resulting in injuries and deaths to humans.

NAUTICAL LOG thinks it is strange that the Boating Industry is so reluctant to accept the planned slow down zones just as it is reluctant to accept Compulsory Licensing. Most of the manatees one sees are scarred by propeller blades and it is surprising to NAUTICAL LOG that the FWC
www.myfwc.com has not proposed propeller guards - surely these would help greatly at any speed.

Good Watch.

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