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Boating Information

Florida Keys Reopened

10134 640 isp06The Florida Keys reopened to visitors Sunday, Oct. 1, following recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma impacted the island chain Sept. 10.
Local officials chose the reopening date based on the speedy completion of significant infrastructure repairs, almost total restoration of utilities, and necessity of resuming the tourism-driven economy that employs about 50 percent of the Keys workforce.

“By welcoming visitors to the destination, it will provide the jobs and the hope that our residents are looking for so they can begin to rebuild their lives,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of marketing for the Florida Keys tourism council.
While Key Largo and Key West were least affected by the storm, not all lodging properties, including RV resorts, and other tourism facilities throughout the Keys are operating on a normal basis. Potential visitors should call ahead to ensure that hotels and their favorite attractions are open. (http://www.fla-keys.com/news/article/10134/)

Navigational Safety Alert

As part of the Hurricane Irma recovery effort, the U.S. Coast Guard has designated all waters within one nautical mile of land in the Florida Keys as a regulated navigation area.
Any vessel traveling through the navigation area must proceed at a slow speed (fully off plane, completely settled in the water and not creating excessive wake).
In addition, the Coast Guard has established the following safety zones inside the navigation area: 
• All waters within 25 yards of law enforcement or salvage vessels, and
• All waters with 25 yards of visible wreckage.
Entry into, anchoring, loitering or movement within the Safety Zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Key West or his designee.
Rules for the regulated navigation area will be in place until Oct. 1.
For more information, call the Emergency Operations Center Public Information Line at 800-955-5504

Florida’s Top 5 Boating Destinations

Picture1zzFlorida’s Top 5 Boating Destinations Florida is considered by many to be the boating capital of the world. This is not just some bold hopeful attestation because the numbers really do back it up. It has the highest number of registered boats of any US state and the numbers of boats that use its waters is well over 100,000. With the many miles of beaches and fantastic sunny weather, Florida is the top pick for anyone who finds pleasure in boating.

There are many places in the state where you could indulge in this gratifying leisurely activity. But as expected, some of them are more popular than others. Here are the top five, in no particular order.

Bringing fish back from the Bahamas becomes easier

Bringing fish caught recreationally in the Bahamas back to Florida by water will become a little easier soon. A new exception goes into place Sept. 13 in state waters, allowing anglers to possess and land filleted dolphin, wahoo and reef fish that were caught in Bahamian waters. Similar allowances for dolphin and wahoo, as well as modifications to existing recreational regulations for reef fish managed as snapper-grouper being brought back from the Bahamas by water went into effect in Atlantic federal waters in January 2016. These regulations apply to fish being transported by water only and do not apply to fish being transported or shipped by air.
The changes will allow more fishing freedom for Florida’s residents and visitors while creating consistency between state and federal regulations.
Some things to keep in mind when bringing recreationally-caught dolphin, wahoo and reef fish managed as snapper-grouper back from the Bahamas by water: