South Florida Intercoastal

Advocacy Report

By: MIASF Staff

Date posted: May 25, 2021 Tue

Florida’s 2021 legislative session concluded last month. The Florida Fish and Wildlife bill (SB1086) is waiting for the Governor’s signature to be final. The bill provides additional tools for law enforcement to manage derelict vessels, provides definition of human powered vessels and restricts operation within the ICW and designates aquatic preserves as no discharge zones.

Governor DeSantis has signed into law a comprehensive bill that will ensure a coordinated approach to Florida’s coastal and inland resiliency. The new program will enhance efforts to protect inland waterways, coastlines, shores, and coral reefs, which serve as invaluable natural defenses against sea level rise. The bill provides for funds to municipalities to execute their plans.

At the Federal level, Senator Rubio continues fighting for his bill, The PREPARE Act, which provides a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program for small businesses to take out low-interest loans to implement mitigation measures to protect their property from future disaster-related damage. This bill enjoys rare bi-partisan support allowing small businesses the opportunity to invest in mitigation before a disaster strikes. The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and other national marine trade organizations support the bill as mitigation is key to resiliency for low-lying coastal marine facilities.

Last week, the US Coast Guard and industry representatives, which make up the working group, met to review the proposed regulations for the US Flag over 300gt. There are still challenges and questions to implementation as USCG is not the only agency the regulation change will impact. The working group engagement will hopefully facilitate movement towards final rule.

The city of Fort Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board sent a letter of concern to the commission about a proposed dock in in front the Stranahan House. There are currently permit restrictions on the area prohibiting dockage as the area is critical to navigation of larger vessels transiting the river to and from the boatyards upriver as well as a history of accidents in this congested part of the river. MIASF has also submitted a letter of concern to Mayor Trantalis requesting the permit restrictions remain in place.

The MIASF annual meeting this month provided members with the unique opportunity to meet and hear from our amazing and effective team of lobbyists. On the local level (Matt Sacco), state level (Teye Reeves), and federal level (Duncan Smith), they advocate for marine industry interests every day. Each one of them excels in their area of expertise and MIASF is happy to have them on our team.