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  1. #1
    Offshoreonly Advertiser Offshoreonly Advertiser Mbam's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1972 Cigarette 36 race
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Pompano Beach FL, USA

    If you boat in Florida read this (long but important)

    We are a member of the local Marine Industries Asociation of South Florida. I just received this email from them, and as the subject will have an effect on any of us with an interest of any kind in Florida boating, whether it is our business, a related business or as a boater I thouhgt I would post it here.

    December 11, 2002

    To: Marc Berman

    Dear MIASF Member:

    It is important that you read this letter and accompanying memo.

    Your Marine Industries Association of South Florida has made significant
    investments in the development of a new public awareness campaign "Our
    Waterways, Our Future." You've read about the campaign in Tide-ings and many
    of you have seen the television commercials and have read the articles in
    the local press resulting from our media contacts. We believe our moderate
    proactive approach will help turn the tide of public opinion and encourage
    greater cooperation between environmental groups, government, industry and
    boaters toward reasonable solutions to the manatee controversy.

    Your board of directors and staff however cannot do it alone. We need the
    support of all industry members and boaters. We need you to be at the public
    hearings on Thursday to help us voice our concerns about the threat of
    additional regulation of recreational boating and marine facilities. The
    proposed new regulations are likely to restrict development of boat ramps,
    marinas, docks and other watercraft access facilities and further regulate
    operation of boats on our waterways.

    Each of you has an opportunity to influence the outcome of this critical
    debate over access to our waterways. Tomorrow evening, Thursday December
    12,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will present a proposal for new rulings
    that will affect marine industry and boaters throughout Florida, including
    you. They will then receive comments from the public about their proposal.
    We need you to attend this hearing and share your opinions on the proposed
    regulations. If you prefer not to speak, we still need you to be there to
    show your support and our solidarity as an industry. Please make a point to
    be present tomorrow evening,Thursday December 12, from 6-9pm at the
    Renaissance Hotel, 1617 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale.

    If you are unable to attend, then send a friend, or you can also express
    your concerns by sending your written comments to USFWS, Attn: Field
    Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, 6620
    Southpoint Drive South, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32216. Your comments
    must be received before January 10, 2003.

    Inform your customers and employees and encourage them to write their
    representatives and the USFWS as well. Anyone who cares about the future of
    our industry and recreational boating needs to act. We need your support on
    this critical issue.


    Scott Miser Dale Weatherstone
    President,MIASF Secretary/Treasurer, MIASF
    Chair, Our Waterways, Our Future

    To: MIASF Membership

    From: Frank Herhold, Executive Director

    Re: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Public Hearing December 12 at 6 p.m.
    "Incidental Take" Proposed Regulations

    With this memo, you are urged to attend the Thursday, December 12 hearing
    with as many colleagues as possible, to assure the voices in favor of
    waterway access are heard by the USFWS. It is extremely important you find
    the time in your busy holiday and year-end schedule for this important

    The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposes to place a five-year moratorium on
    permits for marinas, docks and other facilities and require Letters of
    Authorization for boat operation in Southwest Florida because manatee death
    rates are high. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are part of the
    USFWS "Atlantic" manatee stock and the service's intentions are less clear,
    but potentially equally ominous.

    USFWS has determined "Incidental Take" regulations apply to manatees
    accidentally killed in Florida and that incidental take must have a
    "negligible impact" on survival of the species. USFWS has the authority to
    require waterway users to obtain Letters of Authorization for virtually any
    activity that potentially affects the habitat. USFWS's scope includes:
    * Authorization to regulate watercraft operation;
    * Authorization to construct boat ramps, marinas and docks;
    * Fund construction of watercraft access facilities;
    * Operate facilities that provide watercraft access to waters; and
    * Operate government-owned watercraft in Florida waters where manatees live.

    "Take" is defined in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (Act) as "harass,
    harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect any
    threatened or endangered species. Harm may include significant habitat
    modification where it actually kills or injures a listed species through
    impairment of essential behavior (e.g., nesting or reproduction). Where
    incidental take exceeds USFWS limits, the agency is announcing its intention
    to place additional restrictions on waterway access.

    The USFWC actions could be effective as early as May 2003. Florida's manatee
    population has now been divided into four "stocks." Currently, our
    stock--the entire Florida Atlantic coast-is close to exceeding its "take"
    limits. Potential economic losses to the area and its marine industry are
    inestimable. The USFWS is seeking comments on the proposed incidental take
    regulations and the accompanying environmental impact statement.

    MIASF members are urged to attend the one opportunity we will have in our
    area to express our concerns and offer constructive comments regarding this
    impending legislation. The USFWS has scheduled South Florida's public
    hearing for Thursday, December 12 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Fort
    Lauderdale Renaissance Hotel, 1617 SE 17 Street. Even if you do not intend
    to speak, it is important our industry is well represented. More than 3,000
    people attended the first public hearing on December 2 in Fort Myers. If
    you decide to speak (there is a 2 1/2 minute limit), there are several key
    points MIASF recommends you make:

    * The public 60-day comment period of Nov. 5, 2002 to January 10, 2003 is
    entirely too short. USFWS should petition the court for an extension to at
    least six months.

    * Incidental take is a concept applicable to mammals trapped in commercial
    fishing nets and has no applicability in the case of manatees. The true
    number of manatees is not known. The actual cause and location of death is
    often not possible to determine. And the definition of negligible impact is
    highly subjective and arbitrary. Moreover, unlike county manatee protection
    plans and Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations,
    incidental take does not address root causes of manatee mortality.

    * The environmental impact statement is superficial, statistical in nature
    rather than field proven and too incomplete to base the sweeping assumptions
    of the USFWS's proposals.

    * The definition of four manatee stocks is highly arbitrary and penalizes
    counties like Collier with published and accepted manatee protection plans
    for proximity to counties such as Lee County with higher manatee populations
    and less defined regulations.

    * Since manatees are highly mobile, USFWS should consider survival ratios on
    a statewide basis rather than on a four-region basis.

    * Manatee mortality should be evaluated in terms of a percentage of the
    known population (as counted in aerial surveys) rather than the current
    "head count" ... as the manatee population continues to increase (currently
    3,276 as of the 2000 aerial survey) boat-related mortality may naturally be
    expected to trend up.

    * Greater emphasis needs to be placed upon education and public awareness
    campaigns such as MIASF's new "Our Waterways, Our Future" campaign.

    * Resources from public and private sources must be directed towards very
    promising marine mammal avoidance technology research

    * Funding for enhanced law enforcement needs to be authorized. Consider the
    cost of additional law enforcement officers on the water vs. the enormous
    revenue loss to the State and local economies as marine industry, real
    estate and tourism industries begin to experience the effects of new

    * Family recreational boating and Florida's $14.3 billion marine industry
    must be considered when evaluating the proposed regulations. Look no
    further than the ill-fated luxury tax to see how easily a lifestyle and a
    vital economic engine can be devastated

    It is suggested for maximum effectiveness that your comments be delivered in
    writing as well. Please furnish MIASF with a copy of any written comments.

    We must stand together as a statewide industry and ensure that USFWS is made
    aware of the concerns of "the Yachting Capital of the World."

    Please call the MIASF office if you have any questions or for further
    details. You may review the USFWS Proposed Regulation and Request for
    Public Comment at

    Best regards.

  2. #2
    Trim it Up! Platinum Member kitten's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Skater! Sold!
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    F l o r i d a

    Angry Yes, we must stand together! To many regs!

    Peace & grace be to this place.
    ........ God bless the troops, always! :)

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