This from the SSCA Forum.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife is looking for input from cruisers on it’s Mooring and Anchoring Pilot Program. If you think it’s important, you can go to the link here, http://www.myfwc.com/anchoringsurvey and complete the survey. The program is due to expire in July 2014 and the results of the survey may make a difference in any future legislation.”
We have only used the mooring field in St. Augustine, and twice was enough, Now we skip the town altogether and anchor north in the Tolomato and south in the Matanzas. I suppose the city losing our considerable semi-annual provisioning business was a small price to pay for getting rid of the derelicts who spent nothing.
Florida had all the laws it needed to deal with derelicts and dischargers, and Federal law was clear on unlawfully restricting navigation. Now that municipalities are making money off the mooring fields that resulted from the Pilot Program, based on our experience, it is unlikely they will reduce their field sizes to allow for safe and comfortable anchoring near shore.
Having said that, we are also somewhat pleased that this unfavorable change drove us to look harder at the charts and guides, and not just near St. Augustine. We now find it possible to make it from Brunswick to Fort Pierce with only one marina stop required (though we usually make two). From Fort Pierce, we now sail offshore to West Palm and then from there to Port Everglades where we anchor in a previously one night anchoring only basin to wait for good weather for the crossing to West End. We still have to make a provisioning stop somewhere in there, but at least it’s not in a town that doesn’t want us there unless we pay for an uncomfortable, if not unsafe, parking space — which is what the whole program seems to have been about.