FWC Approves Final Rule Establishing an At-Risk Vessel Turn-In Program

At its July meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the final rule establishing a statewide Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP) as part of the Derelict Vessel Prevention Program. The new rule will create a voluntary program to remove at-risk vessels before they become derelict, which helps Florida’s environment and public safety. The … Read more

FWC Encourages Boaters to “Spring Aboard” With Boater Education

Spring has arrived and that means many residents and visitors will be flocking to Florida’s beautiful beaches and waterways. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants boaters to “Spring Aboard” and get educated prior to the kick-off of the boating season to make the most of their time on the water. Spring is … Read more

Sign Up For Info From FWC On Anchoring Limitation Ordinances

During the 2021 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature created a new law permitting counties to establish specified anchoring limitation areas within their jurisdictions. Vessels would be prohibited from anchoring within such areas for more than 45 consecutive days in any six-month period. These new provisions are in section 327.4108, Florida Statutes. In order to ensure … Read more

FWC Need-to-Know Boating Tips

With summer drawing near, it’s no secret that anglers want to be on the water. Learn about everything from boat ramp etiquette to need-to-know boating tips for boating in Florida. Boating Tips Preparation and launching: A busy boat ramp can be intimidating. However, an understanding of some very basic principles can help keep you safe and confident before you even … Read more

FWC 2020 Boating Accident Report 

With the release of the 2020 Statistical Boating Accident Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages boaters to focus on taking the necessary steps for a safer boating experience. “A leading contributor to boating accidents is the operator’s inattention or failure to maintain a proper lookout, said Lt. Seth Wagner, FWC Boating and Waterways Section. … Read more

Lifejackets – Variety is the Spice of Safety

“Gone Coastal” column By Amanda Nalley.  I hate to admit it, but for years, our two neon-orange over-the-neck lifejackets (aka personal floatation devices or PFDs) acted primarily as seat cushions in our 40-year-old canoe. We didn’t have much money, and the thought of spending $40 on a personal floatation device seemed… unnecessary. We told ourselves … Read more

Live-aboards Not Wanted at Rowell’s Park in Key Largo

No live-aboards should be allowed to dock at the future redeveloped Rowell’s Waterfront Park, but a splash pad for children would be widely welcomed. Those were two main takeaways from a county-hosted public input meeting held last week. Neighboring residents asked Monroe County officials to implement the same ban on live-aboards accessing the park that … Read more

Safe Boating in the Florida Keys

Safe Boating navigating Florida Keys shallow waters can be a challenge for even the most experienced boater. Unfortunately, inadvertent or careless boating practices can cause serious trouble for the Florida Keys ecosystem. With a little care, you can avoid damaging valuable Keys habitat (and your boat) and avoid fines, fees, and other costs associated with … Read more

Florida Keys Rules You Should Know

The Florida Keys are a fragile and unique environment brimming with life and complex ecosystems.  Numerous state and federal regulations exist to protect the Florida Keys and surrounding ocean. Florida Keys Rules. Frequent reports of wildlife violations prompted us to create this guide to the many environmental protections that everyone, visitors and residents, should know.   … Read more

Florida Keys Sandbar Gatherings on The Rise

Florida Keys Sandbar. Dropping anchor or tying off at shallow sandbars has, in the last quarter-century, mushroomed at dozens of gathering spots from the Upper Keys to the Marquesas, a new state report says. The fastest-growing segment of Florida Keys boating activity seems to be one where people don’t go anywhere. Islamorada’s Whale Harbor Channel … Read more

Eyeball Navigation: Reading Florida Keys Water Colors

Between the islands and barrier reef of the Florida Keys are grassy shallows, patch reefs and isolated coral heads. Though these hazards show on nautical charts, changes occur between publications. One skill you can learn to help avoid these dangers is eyeball navigation, a method of reading water depth and bottom composition based on Florida … Read more

Toilet Seat Cut Tour Islamorada Florida Keys – Video

Toilet Seat Cut     Toilet Seat Cut, a bona fide tourist attraction, is in the waters of Florida Bay around mile marker 90 Bayside in Islamorada, just west of South Coconut Palm Blvd. About 250 decorated toilet seats line a 60-feet-wide manmade channel near mangrove islands and seagrass flats enabling boat travel between the … Read more

While Fishing Watch For Commercial Lobster Trap Lines

We’ve talked about exercising extra caution, both on the water and off, due to the influx of tourists partaking in lobster mini-season last week. This week, add to your boating attentiveness the presence of commercial lobster trap gear. August 1, the commercial lobstermen splashed their fresh gear for the eight-month recreational and commercial lobster season … Read more