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Old 07-29-2005, 10:16 AM
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Default Marina news-Florida

Article in todays paper..

Marinas await completion of manatee plan
By Ludmilla Lelis
Sentinel Staff Writer

July 29, 2005

DAYTONA BEACH -- Demand for waterway access is so high that Halifax Harbor Marina has a list of 378 people waiting for a boat slip.

Marc Phillips, the marina general manager, said Daytona Beach could build a hundred slips or more and easily fill them.

But there hasn't been a marina expansion, or new boat-slip projects anywhere in Volusia County, because of their potential impact on endangered manatees. However, that could change soon.

County and city officials are in the final stages of approving a strategy for future boat-slip construction that is needed to complete Volusia's state-required manatee-protection plan. Because Volusia is one of 13 counties key to manatee survival, state officials have tied marina development to manatee protection.

"That has been a show-stopper right out of the gate for any project," said Phillips, who works for the city's contracted marina-management company, Skipper Bud's. "Additional slips are pretty badly needed. The demand is just outstanding."

Five cities already have approved the plan, two cities are planning to vote on it next month, and the Volusia County Council is scheduled to discuss the plan Sept. 8. The state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would then review the final version.

Most of the Volusia manatee-protection plan was approved in 2001, but the county and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission couldn't agree on how to regulate the location of new boat slips. Meanwhile, only boat slips for single-family homes, which are exempt from these particular regulations, have been permitted.

The current proposal, primarily written by state officials, gives specific ratios on how many boat slips can be built for every 100 feet of shoreline.

As one of the last three of the 13 manatee counties to finish its manatee plan, Volusia hasn't had approval for any marina projects for the past few years.

"If we could get that plan approved, I would start construction the day they give me my marina permit," said Hawk McMillan, a developer for Edgewater Harbor, a proposed condominium and marina project in southeast Volusia that has been in limbo for 18 months.

New boat slips are restricted in important manatee habitat, such as areas of the St. Johns River bordering Blue Spring in Orange City or the Tomoka River in Ormond Beach, an east Volusia river used by manatee mothers for birthing calves. However, the state will allow more boat slips to be built near Ponce de Leon Inlet and other popular boating destinations.

Volusia County environmental-management director Stephen Kintner said boat-slip fees will be used to pay for marine law enforcement and manatee educational programs. For each new slip at a marina or condominium, a developer would have to pay a $1,000 fee, which would go directly into a county-run manatee trust fund. A single-family residential boat slip would be charged $250. Kintner estimates that the fees could raise about $5 million to $6 million for this trust fund.

"If the goal is to protect manatees, we need to have that funding source to have the officers to enforce the speed zones," Kintner said.

What several cities and local developers like is the ability to cluster boat slips at new marinas or condominiums. The state plan gives cities the option to set up a "boat-slip pool" based on a total number of potential future boat slips. By pooling the city's slip total, a development project could request more slips than what it could have had under the state's ratios.

For example, McMillan would like to build 300 slips for the dry-stack marina at Edgewater Harbor, but the development doesn't have enough shoreline to have that many slips. The city of Edgewater has a future capacity of 418 boat slips, not counting slips for single-family homes, and city officials would prefer most of those slips at the development.

However, Sandra Clinger, East Central Florida coordinator for the Save the Manatee Club, is worried that the boat-slip plan has too many loopholes that could put manatees at further risk. Among her concerns, she said that the plan doesn't specifically prevent a city from clustering its slips in a more environmentally sensitive area.

Mary Duncan, environmental specialist with the wildlife agency, said the plan may not deal with every potential scenario, but provides a framework for boat slips. Each project would still go through the normal review process, and any risky situations could be flagged, she said.

Besides Edgewater, South Daytona, Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and Port Orange also want to use the "slip pool" system. All the cities have riverfront projects that could benefit from clustering their slips.

"The pool system makes more sense because otherwise you would have slips spread out all over the place, while through this system, we could have them concentrated at logical points," Port Orange Assistant City Manager William Whitson said.

The public can comment on the proposal until Aug. 12. The draft proposal is available at www.volusia.org/environmental /natural_resources/manatees/ mpp.htm

Ludmilla Lelis can be reached

at [email protected]

or 386-253-0964.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:39 AM
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Good luck, you'll need it with the $MC involved. I bet the $MC will recommend DISSAPPROVAL of Volusia's MPP, they have dissapproved every other Fl. County's MPP that has been submitted.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:55 AM
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Going to raise 5 to 6 million dollars
Do you think they will allow 5000 to 6000 new slips? Or 20,000 to 24,000 single-family slips?

I'm glad to hear that they are making progress on new development though. This sounds like a blow for manatee lovers
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Marina news-Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Ferry
Good luck, you'll need it with the $MC involved. I bet the $MC will recommend DISSAPPROVAL of Volusia's MPP, they have dissapproved every other Fl. County's MPP that has been submitted.
Dean

Dean ,no kidding. The *^#!king SMC disapproves of the friggin' tide changes. No matter what boaters try to do, they will not approve it. I would love to have a boot made with the word COMPROMISE written on the sole, and personally imprint it on their foreheads. You'd think that boaters/marina owners had declared war on their beloved Manatee. All we ask is for legislation, rules, whatever be based on solid scientific evidence, NOT the "sky is falling" philosphy of the SMC. They bit(h about anything and everything. The worst of the worst.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Marina news-Florida

what we need is a movie like jaws but using manatees as the killer fish. some pics of rabid manatess ripping swimmers to shreds, that would put an end to all this manatee bullcrap! please show me how sea cows improve my quality of life fer christ sake. we should start an oso fund for manatee kills! run one down and you get some cash and prizes...
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