To the Editor:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has retained Atkins Global to conduct a study in Florida to better understand the impacts of long-term stored vessels. Feedback from residents, business owners, visitors and others who use and enjoy Florida’s waters is a crucial part of the research.
A virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. to announce the study and to explain how the public can participate. The meeting will begin with a formal presentation from subject matter experts and will conclude with a question-and-answer session.
The intent of the project is to:
Investigate whether, and to what extent, long-term stored vessels contribute to the number of derelict and abandoned vessels on Florida’s waters.
Investigate the impacts of long-term stored vessels, those anchored or moored outside of public mooring fields for more than 30 days, and those moored within public mooring fields on local and state economies, public safety, public boat ramps, staging docks, and public marinas during and after significant tropical storm and hurricane events.
Provide recommendations for appropriate management options for long-term stored vessels to mitigate any identified negative impacts to local communities and the state.
For the purposes of this study, a “long-term stored vessel” is a boat on state waters that is not under the supervision of a person capable of operating, maintaining or moving it from one location to another and that has remained anchored or moored outside of a public mooring field for at least 30 days out of a 60-day period.
To attend the virtual meeting online, participants can register VesselStudy.com or attend by phone in listen-only mode at (562) 247-8321 using access code 648-012-772.
Persons wishing to participate in the study can do so at the project website VesselStudy.com. Stakeholder input will be collected through Feb. 10, 2023.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission