Watermen Turn Ghost Busters In The Chesapeake
Virginia watermen removed 10,000
inactive crab pots from the Chesapeake
“We figured they were out of
work for the winter,” Bull said, “and we
put this program together to have them
do something environmentally beneficial,
since they couldn’t be dredging for crab
because we closed the fishery. So it did
Bull says crab populations have rebounded
significantly. Currently, the crab popula-
tion is believed to be at its second-highest
level since 1997, despite a harsh freeze last
winter that killed as much as 31 percent of
Over 28,000 fewer lost crab traps now haunt Chesapeake Bay, thanks
to a three-year marine debris removal program in Virginia.
help them, and it’s certainly helped the
Since 2008, when the Chesapeake’s
blue crab fishery was declared to be in a
state of disaster by the federal government,
the Bay’s iconic crustaceans.
First Test Mooring Fields Selected In Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has
selected five local government jurisdictions for inclusion in a statewide
mooring-field pilot program designed to untangle anchoring issues
in the Sunshine State. A 2009 law to clarify the anchoring rights of
cruising boaters prohibits local governments from regulating anchoring
outside designated mooring fields. It also established the pilot program
to test policies as well as new anchoring and mooring concepts.
The cities are St. Petersburg and Sarasota on Florida’s west coast
and St. Augustine and Stuart on the east coast. The law designated that
Monroe County, which has mooring fields at Key West and Marathon,
would be included in the pilot program as well. By the fall of 2011, the
five jurisdictions are expected to draft ordinances to cover anchoring
outside the mooring fields but only after significant input from boaters and cruisers alike (public meeting details will be posted at www.
BoatUS.com/gov as they become available).
“Anchoring has been a contentious issue in some areas of Florida;
and local elected officials, law enforcement officers and even boaters
may not fully understand the changes,” said BoatU.S. Vice President of
Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. She added that a revised Florida
Anchoring Information fact sheet clarifies the law and is available for
downloading at BoatUS.com/gov. (To request printed copies in bulk for
groups, contact: www.GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com.)
“This is a tool that we hope cruising boaters will keep aboard to
help educate others on the anchoring issue and help them protect their
rights,” she added. “We appreciate the commission’s help in getting
these fact sheets distributed to their officers as well as to other law
enforcement agencies with marine divisions in Florida.” — R.L.
Boot Key Harbor, in Marathon, is one of five mooring fields selected for a pilot program in Florida. Cruising boaters can download a revised fact sheet on the state’s anchoring law at: www.BoatUS.com/gov