South Florida Intercoastal

Advocacy Report

By: MIASF Staff

Date posted: Apr 28, 2021 Wed

In Tallahassee, Covid-19 Lawsuit Protection was the first bill to reach the Governor’s desk in this year’s legislative session. Florida businesses, governments and healthcare providers will be protected from coronavirus lawsuits if they have made a good effort to follow safety guidelines. The law will apply retroactively to the beginning of the pandemic, giving businesses one less thing to worry about.

Many bills are still in the deal stages and have not reached the Governor’s desk. Among those are time restrictions on anchoring, locations of no discharge zones, and how better to manage or prevent derelict vessels. Also being watched closely by our partners at IYBA is a bill that reviews and determines continued need for state licensing of certain occupations.

Last week, Broward County passed an ordinance adding additional management requirements to the slips allocated to the manatee protection. The new ordinance gives 2 years plus a 1-year extension to build permitted slips, or they return to the pool to accommodate the next project on the waiting list.

MIASF’s Foreign Trade Zone currently consists of 5 active marine facilities, Lauderdale Marine Center, Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Pier 66 Marina, Taylor Lane Yacht and Ship, and Seahaven Superyacht Marina, as well as Fassmer, which is a land-based operation that manufactures and services small/medium boats like rescue boats and RIBS. We are currently refining the guidelines and will be coordinating with the facilities and MIASF member customs brokers to assure consistency throughout the zone.  MIASF was the first marine zone of this structure to be approved so there was no model to follow and its benefits with review and improvement as we grow.

MIASF continues to participate as part of the committee in a NOAA funded project to capture stakeholder input on Coral Reef preservation. Last month a public meeting attended virtually by over 100 people identified many concerns ranging from septic tanks and sewage to no fishing zones. Everyone agrees protecting the reef is critical. The path on how to accomplish it is the source of most discussion.

Be sure to attend MIASF’s annual meeting on May 20th and meet our Federal, State and Local lobbyists. Duncan Smith, Teye Reeves, and Matt Sacco will give you a firsthand report of the legislative climate from their point of view.