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Florida Manatee People at work again!!!

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Old 08-01-2003, 07:57 AM
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Thumbs down Florida Manatee People at work again!!!

Powerful Environmental Lobbying Efforts
Cause Powerboat Superleague Race
Scheduled for Punta Gorda, Florida
To Be Cancelled


In a brief statement issued recently, by officials from Powerboat Superleague, the Port Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau and Clear Channel management, the decision to cancel the Powerboat Superleague race scheduled for late September in Punta Gorda, Florida has been made.

Florida Fish and Wildlife issued a negative impact statement, capitulating to special interest groups. This critical opinion came after 18 months of meetings, numerous conference calls and constant changes in regulations concerning the use of public waterways and the protection of endangered species. Additionally, the state regulators continued to force new requirements. “It became apparent to all of us that we could no longer buck the system. When we were asked to supply descriptions of anchors used to hold our inflatable buoys in place – concrete blocks – and then told that the description was not sufficient and that we must supply accurate photos plus physical dimensions, we understood that the lobbying arm of these groups was for more powerful than the boating community. Unfortunately, the positive socio-economic benefits for the area were never a consideration and finding a compromise was apparently never possible.” commented Superleague management. “Files for this event are over three inches thick. We have asked to review all of the documents, including negative commentary from the Sierra Club (not located in the area and not familiar with our style of racing). Local officials looked for alternative sites, but each location involved the Peace River and would come under the same criteria as the originally proposed site.”

Fair and balanced research concerning the actual impact to the immediate area was not taken into consideration. Quoting Laura Combs a Save the Manatee lobbyist based in Fort Meyers, Florida: (not in the same county as the proposed event), “The race would also reduce water quality due to pollutants, turbidity and increased litter…” “There is not one shred of evidence that any Powerboat Superleague event has reduced the water quality in terms of pollution, in any race location across the country, nor do we contribute to the turbidity and we do not litter. It is more than unfortunate that Ms Combs could not argue her case without stretching to the limits of untruth. We are a highly regulated, tightly controlled event that happens on a small area of any waterway, during daylight, for what amounts to approximately twelve total hours over a two-day period. Fishing tournaments, which occur regularly in the Charlotte Harbor, are not regulated and in our opinion, constitute a far larger threat to endangered species – both plant and animal.” Responded Superleague.

Finding the additional requirements excessive, Becky Bovell director of the county’s tourism bureau stated: “I think we’ve learned that if you want to use the Charlotte Harbor estuary for anything to benefit the economy, you might as well forget about it. “ After completing a 30-page DEP application as well as filing US Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife applications and requesting permission to use Gilchrist Park, the local officials also prepared plans for manatee protection and sea grass research to address concerns and to be in compliance with current, stated regulations. “Although the tourist bureau was prepared to exercise all reasonable options in pursuing this event, it has become apparent the highly disproportionate environmental influences will take precedence over the potential impact of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy as well as the positive world-wide exposure through the racing series television programs and print media.” She concluded.

“We appreciate the long hours of hard work and the total commitment from everyone at the visitors bureau and Clear Channel. We regret the circumstances that have forced the withdrawal of the applications and caused the cancellation the race.” Stated Powerboat Superleague officials.



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Old 08-01-2003, 09:03 AM
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Welcome to our world!
So, who's really the endangered species?
What a bunch of lies and rhetoric. I'm so sick and tired of these bored do-gooders riuning everything.


I would also love to find out who pays for all their bull****!

Sorry to hear.
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Old 08-01-2003, 12:46 PM
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I think they're outboard tunnels.....
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:33 PM
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Maybe that group should take a lesson from the LLC.
I understand when Offshore was under attack from these same folks in Florida,the LLC was able to work it out WITH them,by inviting them in and letting them control part of the race program and by letting them know boat racers are not the enemy of the manatee.
 
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:39 PM
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also why would a request to take pictures of concrete blocks mean " the lobbying arm of these groups was for more powerful than the boating community"?? Were they unable to take pictures of the block ancors?couldnt they have found otghers?
Or do they feel the FF&W was just using this request as a stall tacktic?
 
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:46 PM
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In this area there is no talking with the feds....the only place thats not off limits now is the gulf..this is all bull$hit and it sucks big time. Heres todays news...
AP) Fort Myers : Boaters in parts of southwest Florida are going to have to watch for some new manatee protection zones before long.


Federal wildlife officials have to submit new manatee protection plans for Lee County and two other areas by a July 31st court-ordered deadline. It means there will likely be new slow speed zones in much of the Caloosahatchee River and parts of San Carlos Bay. They will go into effect 30 days after the plans are submitted.

The new slow speed zones and a 25 miles-an-hour speed limit in the Intercoastal Waterway channel could make round trips an hour longer in the river. Boat dealers, fishermen, marina owners and pleasure boaters are NOT happy about it.

Speed zones have been the bane of boaters who view the water as an escape from their regulated lives on land. Lee County has more than 45-thousand registered vessels, nearly twice as many as ten years ago.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes Decision on
Three Additional Protection Areas for Florida Manatees
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will establish three Federal protection areas in five Florida counties for the Florida (West Indian) manatee, an endangered marine mammal that inhabits the coastal and inland waterways of the southeastern United States.

The decision, which was submitted to the Federal Register yesterday, designates three areas located in Lee, Volusia, Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties as Federal manatee refuges in which watercraft will be required to operate at reduced speeds.

The Federal refuges are the Caloosahatchee River-San Carlos Bay Manatee Refuge, which includes parts of Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay in Lee County; the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers Manatee Refuge, which includes parts of the Halifax River and associated water bodies in Volusia County; and the Lower St. Johns River Manatee Refuge, encompassing portions of the St. Johns River and adjacent waters in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties.

"Today’s decision reflects a solid step forward in manatee protection and conservation," said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service’s Regional Director for the Southeast, noting that establishing the three refuges will increase vital protections for the manatee while allowing reasonable use of Florida aquatic resources by its residents. "Just as important, it reflects our commitment to listen to our stakeholders and involve them in the evaluation and designation process."

According to Dave Hankla, the Service’s Field Supervisor in Jacksonville, the Service performed a detailed analysis of the areas, which included, but was not limited to, a careful evaluation of manatee and watercraft use information, site visits, coordination with State and local regulatory experts, an economic analysis, and review of public comments.

"Our final decision reflects our efforts to integrate Stakeholder conservation, economic and resource access and use concerns into manatee conservation efforts that reflect not only the best biological and commercial data and information available, but also where possible the needs of our stakeholders at all levels," Hankla said. "Based on our assessments, we feel our final decision will have limited adverse economic impacts, adds relatively short amounts of additional travel times, and provides the needed improvement to manatee conservation."

The new manatee refuges will receive temporary buoy markers in August, and Service officials plan to begin permanent posting of the areas in September 2003.

Any authorized boating activity in the refuges can be conducted by operating watercraft at reduced speed, and maintenance activities will be allowed, subject to applicable Federal, State and local permitting requirements. Designation of manatee refuges will not eliminate waterway property owner access rights. Public and private property owners and their designees will be permitted watercraft access and allowed to maintain property and waterways if their property is located in a manatee refuge.

Publication of the Service’s final decision on the proposed rule (68 FR 16602) fulfills one of the commitments outlined in the Stipulated Order agreed to by the Service and the Plaintiffs in Save the Manatee Club et al. Vs Ballard et al., and signed by Judge Emmett G. Sullivan, U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, on March 18, 2003.

The final rule is available online at http://northflorida.fws.gov or may be requested by mail at U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: July 2003 MPA Rule, 6620 Southpoint Drive, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32216-0958, by telephone at 904/232-2580, by fax at 904/232-2404, or by e-mail to [email protected].

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses more than 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:48 PM
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But wait...........theres more!!!!
Definition of "Slow" Speeds

"Slow" speed is defined as the speed at which the watercraft proceeds fully off plane and is completely settled in the water. Since watercraft of different sizes and configurations may travel at different speeds, a specific speed is not assigned. However, a watercraft is NOT proceeding at slow speed if it is - 1) on plane, (2) in the process of coming up on or coming off of plane, or (3) is creating an excessive wake. A watercraft IS proceeding at slow speed if it is fully off plane and completely settled in the water, not plowing or creating an excessive wake. Exceptions to slow speed restrictions are contained in 50 CFR 17.105 and include activities "...reasonably necessary to prevent the loss of life or property due to weather conditions or other reasonably unforseen circumstances, or to render necessary assistance to persons or property".
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:48 PM
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And still more
Lee County - Caloosahatchee River - San Carlos Bay Manatee Refuge

We are establishing a manatee refuge in portions of the Caloosahatchee River and San Carlos Bay in Lee County (in the Southwest Region) for the purpose of regulating vessel speeds, from the Seaboard Coastline Railroad trestle, downstream to Channel Marker "93," and from Channel Marker "99" to the Sanibel Causeway. Except as provided in 50 CFR 17.105 (valid emergency situations and law enforcement), watercraft will be required to proceed as follows:

a. from the Seaboard Coastline Railroad trestle at Beautiful Island, downstream to a Channel Marker "25," a distance of approximately 1.6 km (1 mile), slow speed in the marked navigation channel from November 15 to March 31, and not more than 40 kilometers (km) per hour (25 miles per hour (mph)) in the channel from April 1 to November 14;

b. from a point 152 meters (500 feet) east of the Edison Bridge downstream to a point 152 meters (500 feet) west of the Caloosahatchee Bridge, approximately 1.1 km (0.7 miles) in length, slow speed year-round, shoreline-to-shoreline including the marked navigation channel;

c. from a point 152 meters (500 feet) west of the Caloosahatchee Bridge downstream to a point 152 meters (500 feet) northeast of the Cape Coral Bridge, a distance of approximately 10.9 km (6.8 miles), year-round, slow speed shoreline buffers extending out to a distance of approximately 402 meters (1,320 feet) from the marked navigation channel. Vessel speeds between these buffers (including the marked navigation channel) are limited to not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) throughout the year, with the exception of seaplanes;

d. from a point 152 meters (500 feet) northeast of the Cape Coral Bridge downstream to a point 152 meters (500) feet southwest of the Cape Coral Bridge, a distance of approximately 0.3 km (0.2 mile), slow speed outside the marked navigation channel and a speed limit of not more than 40 km per hour (25mph) in the channel, year-round;

e. from a point 152 meters (500 feet) southwest of the Cape Coral Bridge to Channel Marker "72," a distance of approximately 1.9 km (or 1.2 miles), year-round, slow speed shoreline buffers extending out to a minimum distance of approximately 402 meters (1,320 feet) from the marked navigation channel. Vessel speeds between these buffers (including the marked navigation channel) are limited to not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) throughout the year;

f. from Channel Marker "72" to Channel Marker "76" (in the vicinity of Redfish Point), for a distance of approximately 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) in length, slow speed year-round shoreline-to-shoreline, including the marked navigation channel;

g. from Channel Marker "76" to Channel Marker "93," a distance of approximately 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles), in length, year-round, slow speed shoreline buffers extending out to a minimum distance of approximately 402 meters (1,320 feet) from the marked navigation channel. Vessel speeds between these buffers (including the marked navigation channel) are limited to not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) throughout the year;

h. In San Carlos Bay, from Channel Marker "99" to the Sanibel Causeway, slow speed year-round within the following limits-- a northern boundary described by the southern edge of the marked navigation channel, a line approximately 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles) in length; a southern boundary described by the Sanibel Causeway (approximately 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) in length); a western boundary described by a line that connects the western end of the easternmost Sanibel Causeway island and extending northwest to Channel Marker "7" (approximately 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles) in length); the eastern boundary includes the western limit of the State-designated manatee protection area (68C-22.005) near Punta Rassa (approximately 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles) in length). However this area excludes the marked navigation channel from Channel Marker "99" to the Sanibel Causeway and adjacent waters, as marked.

Volusia County - Halifax and Tomoka Rivers Manatee Refuge

We are establishing a manatee refuge in portions of the Halifax River and associated water bodies in Volusia County (in the Atlantic Region) for the purpose of regulating vessel speeds, from the Volusia/Flagler county line to New Smyrna Beach. Except as provided in 50 CFR 17.105 (valid emergency situations and law enforcement), watercraft will be required to proceed as follows:

a. from the Volusia County/Flagler County line at Halifax Creek south to Channel Marker "9," a distance of approximately 11.3 km (7.0 miles) in length, not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in the channel;

b. from Channel Marker "9" to a point 152 meters (500 feet) north of the Granada Bridge (State Road 40) (including the Tomoka Basin), a distance of approximately 5.0 km (3.1 miles) in length, not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in areas between the existing 91-meter (300-foot) buffers (and including the marked navigation channel);

c. in the Tomoka River, the current 40 km per hour (25 mph) zone approximately 1.6 km (1 mile) downstream of the I-95 bridge will be slow speed shoreline to shoreline from April 1 through August 31;

d. from 152 meters (500 feet) north to 305 meters (1,000 feet) south of the Granada Bridge (State Road 40), a distance of approximately 0.5 km (0.3 miles) in length, slow speed, year-round, channel included;

e. from a point 305 meters (1,000 feet) south of the Granada Bridge (State Road 40) to a point 152 meters (500 feet) north of the Seabreeze Bridge, a distance of approximately 6.4 km (4.0 miles) in length, not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in areas between the existing 91 meter (300-foot) buffers, and including the marked navigation channel;

f. from 152 meters (500 feet) north of the Seabreeze Bridge, to 152 meters (500 feet) north of the Main Street Bridge, a distance of approximately 1 km (0.6 miles) in length, slow speed, year-round, channel included;

g. from Channel Marker "40" south of the Seabreeze Bridge to a point a minimum of 152 meters (500 feet) north, as marked, of the Dunlawton Bridge, a distance of approximately 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles) in length, not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in areas between the existing 91-meter (300-foot) buffers, and including the marked navigation channel;

h. from a minimum of 152 meters (500 feet) north, as marked, to a minimum of 152 meters (500 feet) south, as marked, of the Dunlawton Bridge, a distance of approximately 0.3 km (0.2 miles) in length, slow speed, year-round, channel included. The existing 30-meter (100-foot) shoreline buffer immediately north and west of the bridge/causeway for a distance of approximately 640 meters (2,100 feet) is increased to 91 meters (300 feet) as marked;

i. from a minimum of 152 meters (500 feet) south, as marked, of the Dunlawton Bridge to Ponce Inlet, a distance of approximately 10.5 km (6.5 miles) in length, not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in waters not more restrictively designated; along the western shore of the Halifax River, a distance of approximately 3.1 km (1.9 miles), not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in the waters not more restrictively designated; in Rose Bay, a distance of approximately 2.7 km (1.7 miles), not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in waters not more restrictively designated; in Turnbull Bay, a distance of approximately 3.9 km (2.4 miles), not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in waters not more restrictively designated;

j. in the Intracoastal Waterway and adjacent waters from Redland Canal to the A1A Bridge (New Smyrna Beach), for a distance of approximately 5.3 km (3.3 miles) in length, slow speed, year-round, channel included.

Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties - Lower St. Johns River Manatee Refuge

We are establishing a manatee refuge for the purpose of regulating waterborne vessel speeds in portions of the St. Johns River (in the Atlantic Region) and adjacent waters in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties from Channel Marker "73" upstream to the mouth of Peter’s Branch (including Doctors Lake) in Clay County on the western shore, and to the southern shore of the mouth of Julington Creek in St. Johns County on the eastern shore. Except as provided in 50 CFR 17.105 (valid emergency situations and law enforcement), watercraft will be required to proceed as follows:

a. from Channel Marker "73" upstream to the Main Street Bridge, a distance of approximately 16.8 kilometers (10.4 miles), slow speed, year-round, outside the navigation channel and not more than 40 km per hour (25 mph) in the channel (from Channel Marker "81" to the Main Street Bridge, the channel is defined as the line of sight extending west from Channel Markers "81" and "82" to the bridge fenders of the Main Street Bridge);

b. from the Main Street Bridge to the Fuller Warren Bridge, a distance of approximately 1.6 km (or 1.0 miles) slow speed, channel included, year-round;

c. upstream of the Fuller Warren Bridge, a 213 to 305-meter (700 to 1,000-foot), slow speed, year-round, shoreline buffer to the south bank of the mouth of Peter’s Branch in Clay County along the western shore (approximately 31.1 km or 19.3 miles); and in Doctors Lake in Clay County, slow speed, year-round, along a 213 to 274-meter (700 to 900-foot) shoreline buffer (approximately 20.8 km or 12.9 miles); and a 213 to 305-meter (700 to 1,000-foot), slow speed, year-round, shoreline buffer to the south bank of the mouth of Julington Creek in St. Johns County along the eastern shore (approximately 32.5 km or 20.2 miles) to a line north of a western extension of the Nature’s Hammock Road North.
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Old 08-01-2003, 06:51 PM
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Basicicly what it all says is we're fuc$ed
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fever Mike
What is the "Powerboat Super League"? I've never heard of this sancationing body before.
Mike,


The Superleague is a company that finds the race sights and organizes useing the same officials for all races. They are for profit and sanction races through APBA.

They are a major series for the OPC classes SST60- Formula 3, SST120- Formula 2 tunnel boats. They don't run the category or the classes. Much like the new Champboat series only they have been around alot longer. They just celebrated their 100th sanctioned race over 16yrs in Marietta Ohio on the 4th of July.

Grin
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