- Pinellas County Commissioners, Jacksonville Dist. Corps of Engineers, Florida DEP, City of Gulfport
- United States of America
SUPPORT MUNICIPAL MOORING FIELD IN GULFPORT, FLORIDA
On Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 9:30 A.M. at Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater, Florida, The Pinellas County Commission will vote whether to allow Gulfport to build a municipal managed mooring field. Florida has the highest number of registered vessels (approximately 980,000), which contribute $15.7 billion to the state economy (2005) with average expense per registered boat of $6500.00 (2005).
Public access to the water is dwindling due to development and to privatization of public marinas. Water access is the principle attraction for people to move to and invest in Florida.
Managed mooring fields in Nantucket, Provincetown and Newport provide a mix of long-and-short term use, are popular, profitable, and environmentally sound. Similar mooring fields have proved beneficial in Florida communities; e.g. Ft. Meyers, Ft. Meyers Beach, Vero Beach, Marathon Boot Key, Stuart and Key West. Cities which adhere to stringent entry criteria, enforce existing law, and provide appropriate infrastructure to include sanitation, attract and retain a segment of the boating community beneficial to the municipality.
The Gulfport mooring field would:
Provide public access to Florida waters
Promote Florida water heritage
Promote family outdoor activities
Be ecologically and habitat friendly
Promote tourism and provide economic benefit to Gulfport’s merchants with minimal infrastructure requirements
Be a self sustaining, user-funded amenity
Provide proprietary moorings more secure than normal anchors
Enable higher density of vessels for space available
Not accommodate or allow derelict or abandoned vessels
Not interfere with navigation on Boca Ciega Bay
Enhance the City of Gulfport oversight of the water resource
Support Florida and Pinellas County objective of increased responsible public waterway boating access and use
Utilize proven, knowledgeable, pro-active municipal marina management
A Gulfport managed mooring field is in the best public interest as outlined in 18-20.004(2) of Florida Administrative Code:
Provides public recreation within an Aquatic Preserve
Protects waters through regulation of human activity so that the public may continue to use the waters for recreation including boating
Encourages and enhances protection of an aquatic preserve
Improves and enhances public health, safety and welfare
Improves and enhances public navigation
Improves public access
A Gulfport managed mooring field is in accord with legislative initiative to require coastal counties to include incentives and criteria that encourage recreational and commercial working waterfronts in their future land use planning. The legislature’s express purpose in the “Working Waterfronts Legislation” is to “provide access to navigable waters of the state for the public.” The University of Florida and Sea Grant Florida Conservation Clinic determined that managed anchorage and mooring fields help to accomplish those goals.
CONCLUSION: A mooring field is an appropriate aspect of Gulfport municipal utilization and management of the public water resource.
We, the undersigned citizens, residents of and visitors to Pinellas County, Florida find it is in the best public interest to establish a managed mooring field in Gulfport, Florida.
We urge the Pinellas County Commissioners, the US Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Department of Environmental Protection to permit the City of Gulfport’s proposed managed mooring field in Gulfport, Florida as outlined in the following applications and the Harbor Master’s plan: Pinellas County Board of Commissioners #CC38505-07/Revised; Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers # SAJ-2007-4697; Florida Department of Environmental Protection #52-0153995-003.
The Support Municipal Mooring Field In Gulfport, Florida petition to Pinellas County Commissioners, Jacksonville Dist. Corps of Engineers, Florida DEP, City of Gulfport was written by Cindy Davis and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.