FWC approves revisions to boating safety zones on Okeechobee Waterway
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585
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On Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved staff’s recommendations for revisions to two boating safety zones on the Okeechobee Waterway in Hendry and Martin counties.
One change affects the boating safety zone around the Clewiston Lock at the Hoover Dike city ramp. Staff proposed to extend the boating safety zone boundaries, change to a “slow-speed, minimum-wake” zone and correct a geographical error.
“The current boundaries provided inadequate protection to boaters loading and unloading at the ramp and entering or exiting the lock structure,” said Maj. Jack Daugherty, head of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “Making a minor extension to the zone’s northwestern and southeastern boundaries will create a much safer atmosphere.”
This amendment also changes the speed restriction from “idle-speed, no-wake” to “slow-speed, minimum-wake.”
“Boaters will still be operating completely off-plane and making little or no wake in the area,” Daugherty said.
The other boating safety zone affected is near the Palm City Bridge in Martin County. This technical correction, proposed to more accurately describe the zone’s boundaries, will not result in any changes for boaters.
The need for these revisions originated from an FWC review of all state-adopted boating safety zones. The FWC received unanimous positive feedback for the amendments via electronic comments, at a public meeting held in Clewiston in September and through a resolution from the city of Clewiston.
The proposals amend Florida Administrative Code rule 68D-24.011. For additional information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating or call 850-488-5600.