On Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved two boating safety zones proposed by staff.
The Commission approved two rule amendments, contingent upon supporting resolutions from both counties, which will create slow-speed, minimum-wake zones in Monroe and Volusia counties.
“The zones are designed to enhance boating safety in both areas by slowing down vessel traffic,” said Capt. Richard Moore, head of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. Currently, boaters can travel on-plane in these areas.
The proposed Monroe County zone is adjacent to the U.S. 1 bridge over Jewfish Creek, extending 300 feet north and 800 feet south of the bridge fender system.
“The FWC was contacted by stakeholders regarding safety issues in this area,” Moore said.
As a result, FWC staff conducted online boater surveys and held a public meeting in Key Largo in December to gather additional public input, resulting in the proposed amendment.
The other proposed zone is in the vicinity of the Highbridge Road bridge and boat ramp in Volusia County; this zone would extend 300 feet north of the bridge fender system and 300 feet south of the boat ramp.
“FWC officers and members of the public have noticed boating safety issues in this area, due to limited visibility around the structures,” said Maj. Jack Daugherty of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section.
The FWC received positive feedback overall, via electronic comments and at a public meeting it held in Ormond Beach in December.
The proposals amend Florida Administrative Code rules 68D-24.144 and 68D-24.164. For additional information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating or call 850-488-5600.